Many are inspired by gurus, saints and self proclaimed self-realized individuals, in their search for “enlightenment,” a “higher state,” etc. for they want to achieve that state for themselves.
Because these individuals think that to become “better” and achieve something as they have done in society, is “good.” Their role models fit that aspiration.
We may think that such goal is laudable, that it is something “good” to pursue and encourage the seeker to “obtain” that, to “achieve” it, so he can be a model too and tell us “how to get it” for ourselves later on.
Observe the desire to achieve. Observe the typical “modus operandi” in action: It is the same “method” that we have learned to DO and accomplish things in “Life.” We believe in “hard work” and steady effort to “achieve” this aspiration of “enlightenment” as well, by following the same.
Nevertheless, “spirituality” or the art of living Life in fulfillment; doesn’t follow the ways we have learned through centuries of conditioning.
Until we don’t realize that, we will be repeating the same pattern. A “higher state of BEING” is not like getting a job, or working hard through endless repetition of methods. As a matter of fact, our desires for such achievement, are of no consequence. It is not like what we have been taught.
Still, the machinery is at work in search for profit. Books, classes and other sources of information are sold to “help” the seeker to “achieve” his goals.
That is snake oil. However, it has a placebo effect according to the depth of belief.
Here is the premise to understand: The same ego, the same “I,” the same “mind” trying to achieve something “great” such as a higher state of BEING is the one required to melt away.
Thus, isn’t that desire to achieve something, coming from the same ego-mind which needs to wither away? “Oh Ok…then, I will achieve and then wither the ego away…” If it was like that, then everyone could be self-realized in “3 simple steps.”
A “higher state” is not achievable. For there will be no “I,” there to achieve. Further, a “higher state” only happens according to the need of time to those whose life experience calls for that. That “event” is beyond our DOING.
Let me be more explicit: The “I,” the “mind,” the “ego,” achieves through action, through DOING something. Observe how religions and spiritual paths have many rituals, commandments and practices thought to “better” a person.
However, DOING does not change BEING. DOING can only change behavior but never BEING.
No matter how many times we repeat some “practice,” BEING cannot change. BEING does not change due to the strong desire of the “ego-mind” to “succeed.” Spirituality is in the realm of BEING first, not DOING to cover BEING.
If the above is clearly understood, then we will face the “reality” that truly AWARENESS is the trademark of a conscious existence, which is not concerned in bringing change to itself, as change naturally happens; but rather OBSERVES, is AWARE of how it happens and naturally allows for it to happen at its own time. ALLOWING is key, when ego has been taught to control.
It is of paramount importance to understand what AWARENESS is, but the catch is that it cannot be explained or defined. There is the dictionary definition, but that is not the EXPERIENTIAL, complete, unmistakably meaning. As the experience of awareness happens and we become more conscious, then we will know.
In the meantime and until that happens, there are tons of “self-help” books, classes and information to help us “achieve” our spiritual goals; whether that is “heaven,” “self-realization,” or some other goal desired by the ego driven mind. It is good to get “busy.” 🙂
Yes, there is something for everyone.
Our society is fixated with the sense of sight. We have an ideal of what is “right.” We just need to change whatever we see, to look like the ideal, the model. This arrangement may work in the “office world” but certainly, not in Life.
To BE one with Life, that is for self-realization, those concepts of “fixing things” including the self, to make them like a role model, are out of place.
Self- realization is more in tune with inner feeling. The “role model” is out.
Let me give an example: In our society, we cherish competitive sports. For instance, in swimming, we are primarily concerned with moving faster not in feeling swimming for the sake of it. To go faster is the unspoken “goal.” We believe that there are certain techniques that will get us there. All we need to do is to watch and learn those techniques from the “champs.” The interesting aspect is that every coach has his take on a particular technique or drill. We just follow what the authoritative person says. That is the safe step as we don’t want to be “wrong.”
This is the way “spirituality” works, as well as religions. We need to go “faster” to heaven before we die. We need to ask the priest and the guru for advise, because they should be “right.” We just want to follow the “method” or “technique.”
In “self-realization,” there are no techniques to follow, for going faster is no longer a goal. Thus, we will not be concerned in watching videos and learning techniques to go faster so we can “win.” The thing is to feel, to be present, to BE swimming, Life itself. None of that “feeling stuff” will give us “benefits” so in society, we dismiss it.
We need to re-learn to feel. When you are in the water, feel your movements. Experiment with what brings you greater enjoyment. If there is pain, then you have found a limit.
Life is like swimming. However, rather than a swimming pool, we have a river moving continuously. Our mind is stuck with “goals.” We want to get to the other side faster. We want to time ourselves and beat the competition so we can earn a medal and everyone should know about this “feat;” applaud us, and remember us when we are gone, we want to be labeled as a “legend.” That is the belief of “success.”
It is that mentality, that conditioning of believing that Life is only a bigger version of the “office world;” which is hindering our possibility to relax, unwind and float, as the river has already a direction. We cannot see that destination, so we come up with mental ideas, illusions and day dreaming to “achieve.” The destination is not to be seen. It is to be felt and trusted.
Our minds want to make sure that we attain something along the way as a “proof,” that we are going in the “right” path… We don’t want to be “wrong.”
It doesn’t work like that. Life brings experiences, humans bring labels (right/wrong, good/bad.)
We wish we could live in Spring all the time, but we cannot be without Winter time.
If you live Spring, Winter is a reality waiting to happen. This is Life.
We see Spring, we believe in it. Once it starts changing, we become stressed out, angry even bitter. Nevertheless, despite our inner tantrums; Winter will arrive. Then, we will make a trauma out of that experience. The consequence of that trauma is a blockage in our perception, in our openness to trust Life.
Fear arrives. Every form of protective shield that we have created around ourselves, is a hue of fear.
We cannot see that. We cannot believe that.
We could feel it, but we are too afraid.
Once we gain the courage to swim past a “trauma,” we could be lost in “achievements” and “goals” again, to bury deep inside our fear to enjoy.
Fear to enjoy?
Yes. Don’t you feel it? 😉
Life is about experiences and every experience is different. If we talk about a particular experience such as “swimming,” every participant will have a different experience out of the same thing.
The collective way of perception (Office world/ afterlife insurance) is looking for some objective, something to attain constantly out of any experience.
Boredom is typically lack of attainment. There is no objective to achieve. Nothing to DO. That same mentality is used to make sense out of Life, that is to find a “purpose” to it.
That mentality pollutes our ability to enjoy Life.
We were taught to make sure that we are getting the” best” out of Life; “milking” Life through constant activities to avoid boredom with the idea of achieving something “worthwhile in Life.”
Take a closer look at that mentality and you will find out why there is so much anxiety and stress in most minds.
Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “loser”, that is without objectives and goals. Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “winner” either: The one who is achieving, getting, becoming.
That duality brings its own issues.
Ahnanda is merely observing that enjoyment of Life is not in a duality.
Have objectives, dream about them. Nothing wrong with that. Achieve them if you want to, but do not expect “self-realization” out of that. Plainly, there is nothing special about it… unless you believe so. It doesn’t matter if the whole world believes in the same thing. It doesn’t make it “true” or “real.” It is only a perspective at the end of the day.
Our experience is not enough. We want more, for the mind is insatiable. We want “the” experience. Welcome to the world of beliefs.
A belief keeps the mind busy. It is the dangling carrot, always away from the donkey. The donkey may come up with pretty good “ideas” and “methods” to reach the carrot, but there is no donkey who has ever reached it, although there are stories about it.
How do I know?
Can somebody accurately describe the taste of a carrot?
That is the world of religions, belief systems and political ideals.
In Life there are no teachings. There are only experiences. The teaching is made up by the student, it is his own “aha!” moment.
If we could clearly see that every experience is different and we can only have perspectives of what we call “reality,” then we could clearly understand that there cannot be accurate written teachings, reflecting the “truth.”
Consider this: The best teachings are never written. They are never shown as teachings. They are never spoken of as teachings.
Thus, if we have “teachings” what we have in our minds, is second rated material.
Acknowledge the experience of Life knowing that it is not the only way to perceive it. That in itself will give us the openness for further perception, expansion.
If we replace our experience with a belief, inner dishonesty is unavoidable.
That is the biggest lie: The one that we tell ourselves. There cannot be “reality” there, but a perception in the land of illusions…. Like a dream.
Your experience is your truth. But it is only yours. No one else’s.
I used to gather every weekend with a group of “seekers.” We were just like friends, sharing different things about “spirituality.” Few liked Ahnanda’s insight. Others did not. Some even despised it. Nothing new! It was another opportunity to argue, to prove who was “right” and who was “wrong.” Ego driven “spirituality.”
Ahnanda is just like them… another view point. There is no way they could ever know/believe that Ahnanda is going through a process of self-realization. Is that something making me “special”? My experience is my experience. It is not the “only truth.” It is not the “only path.” There is no such a thing as “the true path.” That much, I know. Perhaps that is enough. 🙂
Ahnanda does not perform miracles. He does not perform any healing or fortune telling. He does not have promises of salvation. He is not being endorsed by influential people. He is a nobody, where to be “somebody” is important.
Typically, things that he expresses will get distorted: “what you mean is this, right?” and after a few minutes those “important” things, will get completely forgotten… 🙂
Benefit for a seeker is encountered when they can IDENTIFY with what is being shared through their own experience. Otherwise, it does not make any sense. That is why there are so many “teachings” for so many types of consciousness. The ones geared for the collective consciousness are the “best seller” material, the “democratic truth;” the ones who are not, are for fewer. At the end, No teachings here but only recognition of an experience through the words of another. That is how a “follower” is born.
“Spiritual gurus” (whether self-realized or not) emphasize the need of their disciples to blindly follow what they “teach” so the disciples in time, could get the “vibe” and that will become part of them. A disciple with an argumentative mind, will not fit this set up. That is the theory.
However, I can now see that if there is no love from the disciple, there will not be openness to listen beyond words, to assimilate beyond dogmas and to mesh like a sponge does with water.
That sort of love is not necessarily romantic. That path is meant for those who have the capacity to open up and be as accepting as water.
In that sort of relationship, there are no teachings. It is a oneness. How could you teach yourself? This is not book learning, this is assimilation of Life experiences together.
Ahnanda only shares his experiences. AWARENESS is the big “keyword” here, but it is not just a word. The meaning is beyond the word. Love and trust to Life, are closely hidden behind awareness.
In my experience, the true measure of a man is found when you have too much free time on your hands: You could be unemployed, you could be bedridden through sickness or old age, you could be in jail or any other situation with lots of time in your hands. Most individuals will destroy themselves. Others will try to get busy and lost into “achievements” by making themselves into “something” in Life. Very few, will enjoy their own company and allow Life to open them up until there is nothing to call “I” but for namesake only.
There is nothing to teach, for you ARE and others could only recognize that, if it is meant to be. You ARE “something” but that is not to “be something in Life” as society teaches. That “something” that you ARE through self-realization, is very close to “nothing” and for that, even closer to “everything.” Of course, Love is everything.
Does it make sense?
No “best seller” material. 🙂
What is in our minds is mostly conditioning. Learned behaviors, laws, morality, traditions, etc.
It is that conditioning which is the main obstacle for openness, surrendering, no-I.
Ego, the “I,” thrives in conditioning. It feels safe. That is the comfort of the known. Unchallenged, we behave just like robots: According to the software installed in us. A society or a religious group relies on conditioning for the behavior of followers will be predictable.
This predictability is desirable to live in groups, societies. Control is geared to this end: Predictability.
If you are unpredictable, you become a menace to society.
How predictable is the weather? How predictable are acts of god?
Nature is unpredictable that is why it is feared.
Modern man has been conditioned to live in his own bubble of concrete, noise and technology. It is called safety. Nature is out, thus; to decondition someone, Nature should be “in.” That is the first step for humans, are part of Nature.
The whole idea of “spirituality” has been distorted to fit predictability. Become wise like some spiritual entity who can give talks but does not live Life like humans, practice some commandments or some “namas and niyamas,” without ever realizing if “I AM” those or “I am DOING” those. There is a huge difference.
Be nice, loving, compassionate, etc. Those are the teachings.
Because most Humans are not that, but they must behave like that. Nice, Loving and compassionate are concepts to practice, defined by lengthy words. We must fit into the definitions.
Inherent goodness in a person is found in the process of deconditioning, but it is thought and sold that further conditioning will make the trick.
Have you seen a salesman interacting with a potential customer?
The smile is fake. The interest in your needs is fake. The nice and charming ways are fake. Why?
There is an interest, a goal. Sales.
Every religion that has a goal for a follower such as heaven, paradise, god or any other lofty objective has an inherent interest, just like a salesman. However, religions (like salesmen) have a place in society, they have a reason to be: They change our conditioning into another type of conditioning, which we then call “truth,” true love, true morality, etc. That is to differentiate it from the one morality and love which are not “true.”
Here is my statement: Spiritual teachings are not needed to flourish in Life but Deconditioning is necessary to live a happy meaningful life. Before someone invents a “method” or “technique” and puts a catchy label for the masses such as “the True Tantra of Deconditioning,” let me say this, deconditioning cannot be taught. It has to be realized, we need to dissolve our luggage of emotional traumas. Deconditioning is not an idea to be understood, a concept to be practiced.
For lack of deconditioning; methods, techniques, steps are used to obtain something artificial which looks like the ideal, the objective in our minds.
Before trying to become some “spiritual” ideal, it is very important to know who you are for “You” are underneath the layers of conditioning.
In the knowledge of the self, freedom is not gained by fighting, but by giving up. Deconditioning is another word to describe that process. 🙂
In the path of self-realization, there are no things to DO to become something “special.” On the contrary, we are taking away those learned things which have been imbibed through centuries of conditioning.
In a nutshell, part of the path of self-realization is to be aware of the influence of the collective consciousness without rejection.
What is referred as “mass consciousness” has been identified by thinkers, philosophers, etc. However, for them it may be a reaction towards it, a rebellion as when a kid finds out that Santa does not exist. That kid could make a religion, a life purpose, a goal to “save” other kids from the lie of Santa… That is until he becomes an adult and has kids of his own, then he will support that “lie” when he sees the eager and happy faces of his kids as Christmas comes around …Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa is there to give gifts!
That is Life. If we reject, we will accept. That is the full range of experiences. If we neither reject nor accept; then there is a quality which cannot be described through words. You are out of that duality, but if we must describe that; we have no choice but to call it “acceptance, openness,” although it is not.
So there are 2 “acceptances” in the world of the mind. The one with a duality and the one without it.
The collective consciousness is goal oriented. It has to have a purpose. However, any activity with a goal in mind is void of enjoyment.
Enjoyment in Life is not just a phrase to make a religion out of it. It is BEING which comes through taking away the clothes of conditioning. Your underwear, the most intimate attire, is collective consciousness.
John says that he likes sex. He says that he enjoys it. Nevertheless, he is concerned about “not lasting long enough” and to satiate the sexual appetite of his lover. His ego is searching for self-esteem through the recognition of his lover. He wants to be called a “stud,” he wants to be recognized as a fine lover. That is what John has learned. His fear is not to comply with that ideal, to “fail.”
How is it possible for John to enjoy sex? Mentally he is stuck in reaching an objective. His DOING is object oriented. That creates stress, anxiety and even emotional resentment to women, although John may not be AWARE enough to perceive it. John will look for “solutions” which in turn will support his conditioning, his belief system. Otherwise, John wouldn’t be interested.
To truly enjoy sex or any activity like eating or sleeping, the mind needs to go away. Far away. Sex is a discovery. Anything could happen. It is an opportunity for expression without frontiers of learned behaviors. It is an opportunity for trust, for opening to the possibility of being vulnerable. It is in that newness where enjoyment resides.
The collective consciousness has ideas, beliefs, moral values which are held as monuments of “Truth.” However, like Santa Claus; those ideals are just a matter of utility.
Enjoyment is a word with experiential depth. That depth is not known by the collective consciousness. 🙂
In your view, what is the most valuable “practice” in the path of self-realization?
That question is not properly made. It is biased with the belief that we need to “practice” to achieve something in “spirituality” to become a “better” person.
Nevertheless, let me share my experience.
To learn to be comfortable with yourself and to have a full life while living alone, is the most important “practice.”
Most “spiritual” people may understand this as to “force yourself” to DO it, because practice “makes perfect.” That is the conditioning, the discipline of practicing something to “achieve it.” That is fine for man-made ideals, but BEING does not change like that.
Life will put you in that situation. That is the natural path, that goes along with individual readiness.
Someone who is not ready, will internally fight it. Outwardly he may be living a life of a hermit like monks and nuns DO. However, they are busy with their own mental ideas, desires and needs to achieve Paradise, enlightenment and favors from God.
When you are comfortable with yourself, at peace; there is nothing to DO, nothing to achieve, nothing to look forward to. In our language and conditioning that may sound as the description of a “loser,” but it is far from it. It is the plain enjoyment of your own company and the experience of feeling fulfilled, at peace, vital.
This is not a compulsory activity (DOING) to become enlightened or “better.” It is a harmonized, natural response of being at peace.
It is in that state of balance how we discover the meaning of to “live in the now,” for the mind cannot go to the future as there is no need to achieve anything: No prize, no grandiose ideal to become, no “spiritual” after-life fantasy to get.
Going into the memories of the past, will show me all the pieces of the riddle which are building the “now,” although without identification with the one who at one time “I was,” the traumatic past experiences do not have the pull to remain in my psyche and change my enjoyment into sadness. The one from that past is not the same as the one who is now. Even though we have the same name and the same memories, there is no continuity of that “I” internally. “I” am free by not BEING a particular “I” at any point in time, by not defining me.
When the mind has no place to go, then enjoyment arrives through the feeling of BEING at peace, in harmony with “what is.”
The mental conditioning of what is supposed to be “fun,” or enjoyable does not allow us to BE, for the mind will look for that idea as the definition of success. Anything less is failure and the conditioning is to avoid it at all costs.
Define something, then that exists. Make that into an ideal to obtain, and the “reality” will be that it cannot be obtained. However, the mind will be entertained with the possibility to achieve that.
What is what I can DO to “improve”?
Become aware of the conditionings. Not to reject them, but to observe that any decision, any choice that we think we make, is coming from certain conditioning which we label as “truth.”
This awareness of all those things that we have learned through conditioning, is the “solution” that will prompt us to unlearn.
Without unlearning there cannot be newness.
Without newness, life may be the “same old thing.” 🙂