The morality of guilt and regret
“Yeah brother. We all got the same problems: Guilt, regret…”
(The Falcon to Captain America in the “Winter soldier” movie.)
Do we see why, “we all got the same problems”?
Yes, it is the “I” at the end of the road; but many cannot see that far. However, guilt and regret are closer, they can be seen on a daily basis. For many the “I” is a metaphysical entity. Guilt and regret are tangible even though they are intimately related with the “I.”
Why do we feel guilty? Because of the “choice” we made or didn’t make. Guilt will give us a sense of being worthless, it will diminish our self-respect. That guilt will bring his brother “regret” with him. They come together.
Sadness, melancholy, a sense of despair will surround the person experiencing regret.
“I must not lose my temper.” That is the goal. I will add a religious belief to it such as:” God punishes/does not like/does not help people losing their temper.” Now I have motivation to change.
However, Life presents that which I reject. What is that?
The opportunity to lose my temper. 🙂
Then, I feel sinful. Worthless. I may need to ask for forgiveness, for I have “failed.” I “made a choice” which is not what “God likes.” Then, self-punishment will be added into the mix, so I can obtain “God’s grace” again. That is the martyr syndrome: Life is about sacrifices. No time to play. We have truly learned the conditioning of “reward and punishment.”It has been instilled in us. Our society works through that.
If you are not the religious type, then guilt and regret may come stronger for there may not be an opportunity to be “forgiven.” Then you can try “losing yourself,” through some self-destructive activity.
That energy of guilt will stay in us even though intellectually, we know that it is unnecessary.
That is an emotion which needs to be released. Intellectual understanding does very little when it is about releasing emotions. Do we want an example?
Let me go into the “classic” guilt of our society and religious beliefs: Sex.
You were a baby, your parents told you not to touch “down there.” They looked at you with disgust when you were exploring your body and the pleasure that it could offer you in a very innocent way. Remember the time when you first masturbated? I know, it was a “mistake.”Did you tell your parents? What did the priest say? It is true that society accepted your exploration openly? Were you an example? Were your congratulated?
Remember when walking naked around the house was “alright” and then the time when that changed? Did someone tell you “Don’t do it” or suddenly you felt shame like Adan and Eve, and covered your “private parts” with leaves, when God was around?
Society preaches that the “human body is beautiful,” but yet that same society arrests someone who is naked at the beach, while enjoying the Ocean and the Sun. Yeah, the human body has some “sinful” parts that need to be covered. Correct? After all, to be prudish is “moral” and God likes “moral” people.
Yes… There is plenty of guilt and shame about sexuality. It has been going for many generations already. How could we speak about enjoying life then, if we fear an important, integral part of Life ?
It is not possible. Fear will arrive every time we challenge the conditioning. The mind will hang onto moral standards as the symbol of “righteousness.” You see, the mind is only interested in being “right” but not in enjoying Life. (to be continued.)
Looking for the “truth.”
Mary was outside her home when someone approached her. He was an older fellow, dressed in a scruffy way, “hippie” looking…
Mary’s mind started judging him. The guy turned out to be a very friendly person. He was new in the neighborhood.
For an outsider of that scene, the “reality” was just a meeting of strangers.
The “truth” was in the way both of them felt. Mary’s truth was to be judgmental, regardless of the external behavior. Whether she is AWARE of it or not is a different story.
Why is that important?
Because Mary cannot possibly know herself without concepts, unless she is aware. Without knowing herself, there is no way of BEING happy. Isn’t that important enough?
Our society and religious teachings will condemn judging others.
It goes something like this: “ You shall never judge another.”
Because it is “bad.” It is impure. Sinful. God does not like that. There is bad “karma” associated with it. You’ll get punished.
If Mary caught herself judging others and she strongly believed in that “commandment,” she will feel bad, sinful, shameful… guilty. She “failed” her “test” with the stranger.
She will promise God never to judge again… but her mind will do it… over and over, increasing her idea of being sinful, a failure in need of “salvation.”
The above is an example on how religions and societies thrive in “changing” others through concepts, by using fear of not accomplishing that concept.
Awareness is not mentioned. Openness and acceptance of “what is,” is not part of the teachings… You must repress your mind before it throws up its judgment upon others… before you get “bad karma” and punishment.
Because Mary was aware of what was going on in her mind, she caught herself. She realized that her thoughts were not “real.” She learned about her mind.
Mary didn’t need to know all the “morality.” Those things arising in her mind are labeled as “judgment,” and those things are “bad, sinful and impure.”
Her AWARENESS was all it was needed when she remained observant of her “truth,” her inner world.
Because she was conscious, aware through that episode of Life, her mind was free from judgments.
What did she do to get rid of judgments?
Nothing. She did not practice anything.
But if you are to call that “practice” with some label, call it Tantra.
As shared in previous articles, the journey of a “seeker” is to increase his ego just to let it go.
Our society’s make up and religious beliefs are truly “methods” to increase the size of the ego.
For example, in our dualistic mind we are programmed to only enjoy when someone praises us: “ Oh… Robert… He is a loving, fun, compassionate guy…” If Robert is hearing that comment, his ego will inflate as a turkey puffing its feathers out.
Robert may say to himself: “ I should be humble. My religious teachings say so. I will not allow those praising words to get to me.”
However, it is too late… the minute we are aware that we need to reject something, to change our thoughts… it is because we ARE not that which we BELIEVE to be or want to be.
We are not humble. To be humble is not a matter of rejection of praising words.
Robert heard from someone: “ …That Robert is an angry, greedy and obnoxious guy.”
At that point, Robert will get very upset. Robert cannot accept to be something which does not fit the “image” that he has about himself. That image is “pure” ego.
Robert could be “angry only today,” but he cannot tolerate to BE anger. Robert could have been greedy in one action; but he is ready to ask for forgiveness to his God, so everything goes back to “normal” to his previous image; but Robert is not ready to accept BEING greed.
Ego has chosen an image that Robert must fulfill.
In religious groups and in our society we learn to play the game of being “virtuous,” but we cannot accept to be the opposite (sinful) as well, in that way; inner dishonesty is created. We have ben taught to identify with one side of the duality.
Chaos and order are not opposites but complementaries of each other. They are 2 changing states of the same thing. Those states will replace the other by themselves, for Life is change and it can change because of the movement created between those apparent opposites. It is the dance of Yin and Yang.
When the mind is dualistic, it will be attached to one side of the duality (virtue) and reject the other (sin) thus, ego increases through that attachment. Observe that our definitions of what is sinful and what is not, delimits our duality.
We may believe that we are “virtuous” because we follow a particular law or “word of God,” but observe that there is not a single thing in Life which could be separated as “Black or White” as everything is inter-related. The only place where that separation could exist is in our dualistic minds.
Therefore, if a religion tells me that ”I need to DO” certain things to gain Heaven, it is without a doubt a “method” to increase ego.
Increasing ego is not “bad,” for that ego needs to mature, to be big enough to explode.
Every religion, every belief system, every Guru can only offer “methods” to increase the size of the ego. That is why, there is no religion, no belief system, no Guru, who could be “bad.”
Little ego, means that a person does not need yet to get involved with religions and Gurus. Once the ego becomes big enough to bring inner suffering, then the “search” for a “solution” starts.
At that point, every “method” will be “good” as long as ego increases to the point of “explosion.”
Not to follow a “method” is also a “method” to increase the ego.
When we are beyond that, not as simple mental understanding or a rejection… then the “practicing a method” is no longer part of our consciousness.
We have gone beyond that duality.
Finding the “I.”
Many do not know what I am referring to when I say the “I.”
Why is it important to know about that “I”?
Because that “I” causes separation when there is none. That “I” will give us a perception which is deceitful; and from that point, we will build a society based on a mirage.
The “Office” world, what most individuals call “life,” is not truly Life but a creation of that mirage.
For practical purposes, the “I” is that little internal voice speaking to us, verbally or non-verbally. Many will call that voice “me,” in fact; it is not you, but it is the mind which is made up of previous experiences, beliefs and fears from this life time and beyond. The collective mind, that is the traditions which we have been exposed to, are part of that mind.
For example, many individuals do not feel comfortable caressing their own bodies. As a matter a fact, there is an ambiguous phrase used: ”touching yourself,” which has the connotation of something “sinful.”
Where did we learn that idea? Perhaps when we were babies exploring our own bodies, we touched our sexual organs among other things, and that was something discouraged by our parents. As babies we learned that something was “wrong.” As we grew up, we learned about the “double standards” of a sexually repressed society; repressed because the capacity for enjoyment has been cut off for we use the mind to enjoy pleasure and the mind only knows about repetition, “I want this in the future as well.” Thus, it does not matter how “liberal” we think we may be. The mind will not allow for fulfillment out of an experience.
How is that?
A taboo or a qualifying thought such as “sinful” will appear as we lose ourselves in for example, the enjoyment of pleasure.
Since our society is based on the cultivation of the mind and thinking, any activity that entails “forgetting yourself,” such as the experiences of pleasure, love or just being silly cannot be fully enjoyed, for the mind and its collection of “teachings,” right behaviors and taboos will appear.
Here is a “formula”: More thinking, more mind means less enjoyment of Life.
For example, the phrase: “Sex is mental,” is truly an invention of a society lost in the mind. Actually, less mind means greater fulfillment. For that we need to learn to “lose ourselves,” to be vulnerable, open, to surrender, to allow for things to happen. The “I” showing up as thoughts from the mind is the barrier, the obstacle (ego) which will not allow us to know other than intellectual things, words. Everyone could talk about love, but without knowing that love entails that “you” are not there… Love is just another pretty talk.
A person who hasn’t been able to recognize his mind, cannot know what “silence” is, in the “spiritual” realm.
Most are afraid of physical silence as the absence of outside noise. A background noise such as the TV on or some music is typically needed by many. This does not mean that to have background noise is “bad,” it just means that we have made it a necessity. These individuals are not familiar with BEING quiet, thus the mind will move continually from one dream into another even while “awake.”
The internal noise, the noise of the mind; is the layer to be aware of in order to experience inner silence. That is what is referred to as “no-mind.”
A basic experiment to discover the “I” could be done in your own bathtub. Take a warm bath at night with all lights off so it is pitch dark, without any music or background noise. If you ARE in this completely; you will observe your fear to darkness. That is a learned fear, a collective fear, a tradition which has remained with us. The mind will protest. Many thoughts will appear perhaps with horror stories… That is the first observation. That is one form of that “I.” The other form is the movement of the mind through our thoughts. Observe how the speed of thoughts will not allow us to relax, unwind and enjoy the warm water, the “now.” That is the anxiety of the mind which most every individual experiences every day without noticing it. Anxiety is considered to be “normal” nowadays.
How does this anxiety work? You will not be able to enjoy doing “nothing.” There is something which needs to be done: Eat and listen to music. Call someone at the same time. A minute later, do something else before becoming “bored.”
It is just the mind moving your Life in different directions, while looking for a “ghost” meaning.
Once we realize the work of the mind, we could experience moments of “no-mind.” It is that experience which will move your consciousness into a different realm.
“Mindfulness” will no longer be “practiced,” for the mind cannot center anyone into the “now.” The mind can only go to the past or to the future, but to be in the “now,” there is a need of “no-mind.”
To be timeless: “No-I.”
It is in that emptiness how fullness, satisfaction appears.
Life is completely paradoxical. It cannot be understood by thinking, logic and the works of the mind. It is in “no-mind” how understanding comes through the experience of fullness.
At that point, you may be able to live with yourself without hurting yourself. When we learn that, we will be incapable of hurting others.
Now do we see how silly it may be to hear: “God will punish you if you hurt others. You will go to hell.” How elemental, how basic such a teaching of fear could be…
Don’t want to hurt others? Don’t hurt yourself.
Don’t want to hurt yourself? Be AWARE of the workings of your mind.
It is in that observation, how silence, peace could be experienced… “no-mind.”
It is through “no-mind” how there is no longer separation.
If there is no separation, who are you going to hurt?
… and so are “you.”
The sinner mentality
Life is One. There are no divisions in it. No parts. No stages.
All of those concepts/ideals are added by human beings in their quest to dominate, control, possess something, which is perceived as different from “them.”
“Morality” is a human invention, which has been consistently used to “teach” others.
For example, if Mike decides to walk completely naked on a congested street; more likely, Mike will be arrested. Why?
He is acting against the law. Some may label him as being “immoral.” Some others as being “offensive, “ etc.
The interesting thing to observe is how such a belief arises. This is not meant to go against the rules of society, but just to observe the “moral” invention behind it.
A “Life walker” will merely observe and perceive if there is any contempt or rejection arising inside. If there is, that becomes “food” for further discoveries about the self and its beliefs.
The sinner mentality is part of that “morality.”
Every action that we perform toward “others,” we do it to ourselves.
Because there is Oneness. There is no separation.
Some may call that “karma” and create a fictitious web of separations between the “doer” and the “receiver” of an action.
When we are lost in “actions” we oversee the intention.
What was Mike’s intention while walking naked on the street?
That is his “doing” to others and thus, to “himself.”
Because a society cannot control an individual by intentions, then “actions” became the most important item.
A religion is based on the premise of actions. Good actions. Bad actions= Karma = Heaven or Hell.
That is not Life.
That is just a religious belief.
A God watching everyone to punish some or to reward others is not Life.
It is a belief.
That is the starting point of the sinner mentality.
In Oneness there is no such a thing as a “sin.” There are consequences.
Human consciousness changes through the experience of those consequences and not through the adoption of a belief system.
If we are One with Life, Life will teach us when we are ready to assimilate… In the meantime, the experience of suffering will prepare the “student.”
Suffering is not “bad” at all… Neither good nor bad. It just “is.”
A belief system is a human invention. It is a limited perception, an attempt to explain something that cannot be explained without a human point of reference (previous beliefs, traditions, moral values, etc.)
Here is another paradoxical realization: Every belief there is, it is not “bad.” However, it has its timing.
That timing is observed when consciousness changes.
The belief in Santa Claus is not bad at all. But it has timing. If we persist in believing in something well beyond the lapse of that particular consciousness, then inner conflict will arise and inner dishonesty will be felt. Dissonance.
The belief of being a “sinner” has elapsed for many. However, many others are still living in that “reality.” It is a matter of consciousness.
I could write many convincing rational arguments to demonstrate that the sinner mentality is an illusion; however, intellectual arguments or logical premises cannot erase what we feel. To believe that rationality can overcome feelings and emotions means not to understand human nature.
Here another paradoxical realization:
Rationality is great for making a living in our society but… It is deficient for the experience of living Life in joy. Rationally, most will look for the accumulation of wealth to feel happy but… 🙂 there will be disappointment (suffering) when the result is not as expected.
Rationality kills our feelings and without feelings there is no experience of fullness.
Is rationality “bad”?
It is neither “good” nor “bad” like everything else in Life. It “is,” thus observe it and enjoy it.
Observing Nature to learn about life
A whale moves its caudal fin (tail) from left to right to propel itself forward.
A seagull flaps its wings up and down to able to fly.
Moving forward and flying through the “obstacles” in life could be accomplished if we learn that lesson from Nature: The opposites have their own timing. If we respect that timing and allow for one side of the different dichotomies in life to express themselves, we are assuring that the complementary side will arrive in a “healthy” way.
Someone could have good health and not knowing what is “bad” health; that person could enjoy his experience or not. Then, a disease could arrive which will allow that person to know what is “bad” health…. The option after that is good health again; how do we move through those moments, how stable our attitude remains will assure that the experience of moving forward to the right to then move towards the left side of life as a fish does, will be appreciated and enjoyed as the experience unfolds.
A seagull cannot chose not to flap its wings down. “I just want to flap my wings upwards,” that cannot be done for wherever there is upwards there must be downwards, wherever there is a God, there must be a Devil; wherever there is sin, there is something moral, etc.
Interestingly enough, English does not have a word, which is the exact opposite of sin. That is because that word is a religious concept.
When our minds are full of concepts, then our lives are not connected with the “reality” of Nature and the Universe, but rather some man-made invention which even though could exist, is not “real.” That is how our feelings become disassociated with life and our mind takes over.
A triangle is a man-made concept. Through that concept we could create many things, nevertheless; triangles do not exist.
Then, Christians could use that concept for example; to depict the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Usually a triangle is used to represent this concept, which supports the concept of the existence of a triangle. A concept may be useful, but not necessarily real.
When we use these concepts to lead our lives, we will find ourselves in different predicaments, for our interest will not be in finding virtue within but to comply to a man-made law.
When we observe Nature and the works of Nature, we could run away from the workings of the conceptual mind and free ourselves from that illusion which is a driving force in our day-to-day living.
The above is not a “belief” but it could be made if there is no experience from the readers and then, merely repetition of words, that is information; a “concept” will prevail.
When life is conceptual and mind made, then all we can hope for is to gain information.
Information is not the same as to know. Knowing requires to “be,” that is to experience something by not being the observer, but by becoming engaged, merged in that which is to be known. That is, by living life without prejudices, ideas, beliefs, taboos and all of that.
Question: Wishful thinking
We make our destiny our-self,if this is true then wishing and planning to live with a particular soul in future is a sin ?
The word “sin” has a guilty connotation. When we are aware that there is cause and effect, that “sin” is just a cause for a consequence that you will experience. Therefore, nothing is “sin,” but just a cause for a consequence to be experienced.
In your question you are assuming many things. “We make our destiny.” Sounds like a “true” statement; but in fact, that statement is very simplistic.
Your destiny has been destined already. Thus, you are making it happen … 🙂 that is how everything is perfect, because “you” cannot mess up… 🙂
That “making it happen” is the “making my destiny” that you are talking about.
Now, if we go a bit further into your question, you are saying: “my destiny.”
Who is that “I” making things “happen”? That “I” is truly an illusion. That “I” does not exist; that is why there is a destiny already, pre-arranged. Nevertheless, when you are in the consciousness of “I do, I make things happen,” then in that consciousness, you think that “you make things happen in life,” but you don’t.
How do I know that?
Because if you understood cause and effect, you in fact could make your destiny to happen, so you could in fact “live with a particular soul in the future” as you currently wish.
If you did that, then you wouldn’t need to “wish” and “plan,” for this should happen automatically.
Therefore, wishing and planning means not knowing if that soul will live with you in the future.
How is that “not knowing,” going to be a sin? 🙂
There are many articles in this blog about the illusion of the “I,” as well as predestination and free will. I suggest a reading on those to fully understand the response to your question.
The above is the long “intellectual” avenue to get to the beach by taking buses.
The shortcut to get to the beach is this:
You can wish all you want. You can plan all you want. If it is in your destiny, it will happen. If it is not in your destiny, it will not. Therefore, I’d suggest to plan and wish for things that are only in your destiny… 🙂
This is the last question for the year… Other questions will be answered next year!