“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
― C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Apparently, this quote is “good.” It is a version of “Fake it until you make it.” The word love has to be the most misused, misunderstood and misrepresented as the feeling is seldom felt. If we DO things without BEING those things, we are taught to be dishonest. Behavior can be changed through DOING, but BEING does not change through that. An honest, spiritual individual cannot behave as “if we loved someone.” Spirituality is not the art of conning someone or even worse, yourself. That is politics. Notice that spiritual consciousness varies, so teachings are according to that. Usually there are many levels above that which we usually believe to be the ‘ultimate.’ Thus, by being open to newness our consciousness will be open to understand other teachings.
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
― St. Francis of Assisi
It is the FEELING which should drive what is in our lips. In our society, we typically DO the opposite, we talk without meaning that. It is just politically correct to do that. It is in that mediocrity, how our worthiness as unique individuals is lost. We become part of the highly trained collective consciousness where words are important but without the meaning of feelings underneath.
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”— Saint Theresa of Calcutta
Love is selfless. Thus; to know Love as a non-dualistic feeling, there is no sense of separation from the heart center. What this quote refers as ‘cost’ or ‘hurt’ and even ‘empty’ are words chosen to describe the process of selflessness. In that, ego which is our identity , the “I,” experiences its demise. What we used to be as an identity and protected so much, is no longer there and there is nothing to get a hold of to build another identity. Ego feels in pain. It hurts, it feels like mourning for that identity. The outcome of that process is the expression of what we ARE, Love. As long as we are surrounded by conditioned garments and a great ego, we can only feel the emotion of what we call love (with its duality of hate or fear) which is a distortion of what truly the FEELING of BEING Love is.
Observe that the above description uses words with negative connotation. We can also use words with positive connotation. It depends on the emphasis or highlight the author wants to convey. The reader needs to be aware that any description of a non dualistic feeling or spiritual experience will be using dualistic words and thus making any description incomplete. Many individuals/followers unaware of that, will believe that spirituality is about feeling physical pain or some sort of agony to get to experience the ‘real’ feeling, virtue or idea.
As long as there are beliefs, our consciousness will be located and influenced by the mind. The mind is a repository of experiences which have been recognized, labeled and used to make sense of “life”. Nevertheless, that “life” is only the reflection of traditions, teachings and traumas of the collective consciousness which will have lasting influence on the individual.
Basically, there cannot be newness while trapped in the mind. There is repetition, there is a false sense of security of “knowing”, which will not allow us to look further into what IS.
The atheist who converts into Christianity after having an “after death” experience, will have a change in his Life. That is the bottom line. It will be the complete opposite of what he previously rejected. That is the mind in action. Moreover, the tradition of what is known as “God” may be affected by a well known religion (Christianity) which he was familiar with. A Life experience is only meant for the one experiencing it. End of report. However, most take this opportunity to enhance their ego and make out of this an opportunity to show how extraordinary they are. A “chosen” one.
“God gave me this experience so I can be a testimony and lead people into his way.” That is “pure” ego in action.
The mind has a belief. The mind has interpreted an experience. The mind has labeled that experience and made it something extraordinary, especial. Then, the field of beliefs is open: God is this or that. He has chosen this one or that one. He will come back to make sure his kingdom is alright, etc. It is extraordinary to observe how from an individual experience, we could make a religion.
The atheist and the believer are at the same level. Their minds took them there. There is full reliance on that conditioned mind, that is what we may need to realize.
Life has many ways to change the perspective of people. For the ones anchored in the mind, rationality and logic; an out of this “world” experience will be necessary to change them. For those way “out there”, something worldly will be needed to balance them. A seeker will need to go through the full range of the experience, the “yes” and the “no”; to “know”. That teaching is experiential, that is why it cannot be told to another so they also “know.”
Beliefs are not bad. Those are tools to gain further consciousness. The tool is not the “thing” to obtain; but while in the mind; we could debate, fight as to which tool is the “true” one. Then, we want to use “science” to prove if the tool is “true.” We are missing the point.
There are many types of consciousness, but the collective consciousness, the one with the “buying power” is an infantile one, and so the journey is just beginning for them.
As we mature, we will observe that spirituality is based on our own self understanding, our own self observation, our own self acceptance; for there is an opening in that which liberates the person from the conditioned mind. We can make that clear distinction. It is the experience of that freedom, what we may long for.
In that realm, beliefs are not necessary. Free from beliefs, we ARE.
“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.
There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.”
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).
An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.
In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”
Confusion is the mother of all religions.
Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”
Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.
Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.
That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.
However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.
“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.
Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation. We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used. How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”
When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.
Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.
Who am I?
There are many answers, depending on our level of consciousness. Thus, all good.
If we try to define and identify ourselves, what we obtain is entertainment and empty reassurance for the mind.
“I” am a human being, a lawyer, a parent, a spirit, a soul, or simply, “I” am John Doe. Many labels that “I” can be! But… I am not the label nor the idea behind it.
Consider this “secret.”
Any question is already defining the scope of the answer.
Why does the Sun set? The Sun does not set in the horizon. It only appears to us that way. Many things that we consider “realities” in Life, only appear to be that way. Even though we know through science that is the Earth moving, our experience does not agree with that. Can I deny my experience to embrace a belief even though labeled as “knowledge”?
Enjoy the sunset! That is fulfilling. That is what truly matters.
Let us go back. Who am “I”? It appears that there is something static to call “I” to hang onto; but there is nothing static in a changing Life. We heard “Life is change” but we cannot easily accept that Life is uncertain, mysterious.
“I” was 5 years old. That “I” is nothing like the one living “now.”
Am “I” the same? Not a chance, but my mind believes it through dead memories.
The word “I” must be used to make sense in language; but we believe that there is something static which we call “I.” However, that does not agree with what IS.
Then…what IS? Change, uncertainty, everlasting movement.
Can we confine everlasting change into an “I”?
Only in our conditioned “reality.” It is a core belief which has lived for centuries in our human psyche; coloring religions, philosophies, educational systems, etc.
We cannot understand Life until that primal conditioning is uprooted, for we see Life only through that lens.
When we are at peace with change, uncertainty and unpredictability, we ARE living Life. We ARE “spiritual.”
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. 🙂
Consciousness allows someone to perceive things in a particular way. According to that consciousness, we could have a limited understanding. To see things under a different perspective means to have the openness to accept newness. Honesty means to acknowledge our new perception despite a belief, a teaching, and a dogma.
Fear arrives through dishonesty.
Ahnanda is not concerned about denying or proving the existence of God or the Devil. Ahnanda is only concerned about finding his own beliefs. Rest assured, that this sharing is based on my own experience.
I have searched for God. I have found God. I have forgotten myself.
I found myself, then I found no-self and with that I found that all there is… is God. Although, many labels could be used to name it.
Do you want me to elaborate on that? It is for you to find out. It will be misunderstood for those who have not gone through the full experience.
“God created the Universe.”
Didn’t he create the Devil as well?
“NO. God has given us free will to choose.”
Really? Why is the Devil “wrong” then, isn’t he following his free will?
“Because he is against God.”
Is it “free will” as long as we do not go against God? That is not free will but manipulation. Isn’t that a devilish trait?
God and the Devil depend on each other to survive.
Believers are needed.
“But, I had an experience with God himself. I felt floating in bliss and with such love that it had to be God giving me this experience. It cannot be the Devil.”
The issue is not the experience of something extraordinary in our lives. The issue is the label that we have used to describe that.
“That must be God.”
The concept, the definition is added into that experience and through that a belief.
Let me “rephrase” your consciousness:
“I am unique. God has chosen me. Someone else’s experience is not the “true” one for I know God and they don’t.”
The clothes of Santa Claus do not make the one wearing it, as the “true” Santa. You have to believe in Santa, for that concept to exist. We make that concept alive.
Different people wear the Santa Claus’s clothing. Common agreement makes that clothing “special.”
“Knowing God” is meant to enhance the ego of the one who claims that. In my experience, it truly doesn’t matter if you “know God.”
Know yourself to find no-self. That matters to you and to me. Not to God or the Devil.
“God did not create the Universe. Everything already existed. “
If God did not create the Universe, why do we call him God then?
“Because, he is the Supreme.”
Isn’t that a belief based on the concept that God has to be the supreme? Aren’t we building up concepts upon concepts to make an ideal?
Because we have 2 different explanations of God; Is it possible for God to create the Universe and not to create the Universe at the same time?
“Well… One belief is right and the other is wrong.”
I suppose yours is “right,” correct? At the end, it is about “you.”
Beliefs are neither right nor wrong. They are just beliefs.
Accept a belief and your perception will be in one way.
Do not accept it and your perception will be in a different way.
Acknowledge the belief and let it go, and your perception will be yet in a different way.
What difference does it make to know who created the Universe?
What difference does it make to have intellectual answers to believe in?
Lost in the intellect, the mind, we forget the heart. That heart which is not meant to love “God alone,” but to love without restrictions.
Truly want to know what love is?
It is inversely proportional to the size of the “I.” That is the extent of your love. Love is being it.
How do you like that “definition”? 🙂
“What is your relationship with God?”
Until I find no-self, there cannot possibly be a relationship. I can call God my father, my lover, my everything… Those are just labels, ideals based on “ME.” Find no-self and the perception will be different.
A change in consciousness is not related with beliefs and intellectual answers.
Those things are meant to change behavior only, to make us believe that “we are transforming ourselves.”
The self, the “I” cannot transform itself. Every action or thought directed towards self-transformation will only follow an ideal, a learned belief.
For change to be “real” it has to be natural. Not manipulated in any way through the beliefs of the “I.”
When we step outside the boundaries of a belief system meant to delimit our consciousness and to keep us safe within the limits of our society’s collective beliefs, at that point we can explore, we could observe and be an active participant of Life.
“But… If I step away from my belief of a God; who will save “me” and protect “me” and take care of “me” in this Life of uncertainties, and in “my” next Life in the future… Who will be there for “me”?
That is not the question that a grown up could ask before leaving his parents’ home to move in a place by himself. That is a question that a kid could ask. The kid looks for that certainty, he calls “protection.”
Who will be there for you?
Freedom from a belief, freedom from ideals, freedom to experience life.
To be free was the dream of the slave. The dream of the one who wanted to express but couldn’t, the dream of the one who wanted to live and not just breathe.
For the one who is caught up with beliefs and ideals, for the one who breathes fear in every inhalation and repression in every exhalation, for that one freedom is meaningful, holy and necessary to enjoy life.
Freedom from the known, is for the one who is ready. It is a waste for the one who is not.
Life is not our adversary. We are Life itself.
If we try to define who “we are,” we will only restrict the beauty of “what is.”
A tree is meaningless without the earth, the sky, the birds; it is all togetherness.
Therefore, if we blame others; we blame ourselves.
What you give out, you will collect.
Some call that “karma,” but it is not. We cannot try to deceive Life through “good actions” when our feelings do not correspond with the “holiness” of our actions.
Therefore, what we give out through our feelings (intention) is what we shall receive.
That is no longer “karma” (action.)
That is how we arrive at the importance of emotions and feelings and perhaps we leave the realm of thinking, analysis and logic as useless tools for inner observation.
They are completely useless.
To acquire intellectual knowledge is good but when we deal with our feelings/emotions, that knowledge is useless. It will take us into lying to ourselves just to fit what we think is “right,” “holy” or “pure.”
Things happen , there are consequences. Whether we feel guilty or not, the consequences will be felt based on the intention.
That is what we call “Life lessons.” Living Life. Live and learn.
“But the fact is that he cheated on me.”
Yes, that is the fact. Observe how you FEEL about that.
FEELING lousy is the way not to forget. A trauma is made. A new distressing emotion built.
Would you keep that poison inside?
Some will. Nothing wrong with that for eventually suffering will make us awake.
Perhaps we may lose some valuable time in that process?
That is known as “paying the price” of the free lesson.
In the “Office world” we play with paper money and give that paper utmost value. In Life, we pay the price through spending our valuable time, our Life.
True “Spirituality” is not learned through books, religions or holy ones. It is learned every day in Life as we become aware of this game of existence, but when we are not aware, we may need the above.
“Spirituality” is living Life itself. There is no difference.
Some may awaken with a gentle whisper. Others, may require cold water to be thrown at their faces to wake up.
The “other” could do that favor to you. The “other” will be the trigger.
Wouldn’t you be grateful of the “other” then? To do that means to change our perspective, our awareness, our consciousness.
Blame and Guilt dissolve by acknowledging the experience of the self -created ghost.
Things do not happen because we want them to happen but rather because they are meant to happen. We are not separated from Life.
Thus, Blame and Guilt exist as deep and unforgettable as we want them. That ghost is our own creation…. just like paper money in the “Office World.”