Tagged: society

On the perception of “equality.”

Justice, equality, love… pretty words used by many when looking for support.
The human journey is to go from the merely intellectual understanding of those words to the actual feeling and thus BEING it.
Love IS. Justice and equality are man-made inventions in a world full of violence. Human beings ARE violent creatures.

Life has “justice” in it. Although, “justice” is not the correct word; which should be “balance” instead, human perception of justice is not the paradigm used by Life itself.

A few days ago, the International women’s day was celebrated. Women’s constant struggle to find equality with men has been the theme of many years now. The invention of a new pretty word -empowerment- (of women) has been used to show society’s efforts to work towards that equality.

Why does society perceives men and women not to be equal? Because conditioned human beings find and concentrate on differences and use violence as a tool to demonstrate supremacy over “different ones.” However, that perception is an illusion, for differences create a complementary quality which creates wholesomeness, unity. We are one.
In short, differences are not opposite but complementary. Life moves along those lines. Society moves through conflict, through discrimination, oppression and violence of one side towards the other. Paradoxically, it is that same violent mind the one that has created “rights” to defend the oppressed side.

At the most obvious and superficial perception, differences of men and women create the complementary quality needed to live Life in harmony. In its depth, we could find that every man and woman irrespective of sexual orientation, has a masculine and a feminine side. Our perception as society will change once a human being is able to harmonize those 2 sides within. Otherwise, the predominant side will prevail and dominate the other. That is exactly what happens at the level of society.

It is too bad that politicians and law makers are completely unaware of the above, for “laws” are only intellectual cover ups unable to change how actually a person feels. It is indeed those feelings, the ones that will be expressed and despite the enactment of “pretty” laws, we will witness further violence.
Yes, laws are better than nothing in a dormant society. At least we could say that “we are trying.”

Observe that we ARE violence. Laws only cover that fact by forcing a behavior, because most humans are unable to look inside. There is no time. There is no profit in such activity. No demand.

Among men, there has been separation as well. Exploitation due to differences of skin color, religion, etc. Not long ago, a man could have been a slave to another, due to his skin color or national origin.

The same type of violence is showcased with animals. I always wondered about the “symbiotic” relationship of domesticated animals with human beings: What benefit do animals obtain? They could be better off all by themselves. On the other hand, humans have benefited through the free exploitation of animals. Animals have been used even for “entertainment” (bull fight, cock fight, dog fight, etc.) as still some countries keep obsolete and inhumane traditions as forms of “entertainment” and many times use another “pretty” word to hide their violent nature, they use the word “art” to hide the slaughter.

But, where is “justice” in those inhumane practices with animals?
Well… It comes to mind the epidemic diseases: COVID-19. SARS, MERS, Avian influenza, Swine flu, etc. Those viruses have an origin in animals.

Balance. In Life, a human being is no better than a fish. Although human religions and law makers may believe otherwise. Want “proof”? Death is everywhere. Hardship strikes to hunters and prey “equally.”

It is important to recognize that we are all together in this. Our distinctions, separations, differences, etc. do not control the way Life works.

When we DO something to OTHERS, we do it to OURSELVES.
Looking forward to see that “law” in “practice” in some country showcasing a “progressive,” democratic constitution.

Many years ago, it was taught: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  It seems we still have issues properly defining and understanding what “others” means, for most only see “I” but cannot understand what it is.

The significance of “achievement” in spirituality

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.

Why?
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.

“Good and Bad” are not separate.

A duality is understood as two separate options when truly is one line of continuity. I am not speaking about the “morality” of what we perceive as “bad” or “wrong” for that is a human value. I am pointing out that our perception of a duality as separate, opposite sides is an illusion in the “reality” of Life.  We need language to identify a side of that duality, but if we consider one side valuable and despise or reject the other, we are setting ourselves up for suffering.  Language is an identifier but let us forget the connotation that it brings, if we want to go deeper. For example, the word “snake” brings a connotation according to tradition or cultural conditioning (devil, penis, medicine- caduceus-, etc.) if we are influenced by that, we cannot look at the reality of the snake appearing in front us. The mind and its conditioning will give us an illusory reality.

Let me illustrate with the duality of life and death.

The weather is getting hotter because of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Superficially, we could say that “Australia is one of the largest per capita emission of carbon dioxide in the world; “ and come up with a “reason” for dead kangaroos and other animals there at this time, due to the recent fires. However, Life does not make distinctions of nationalities, which are man made illusions, part of the conditioning.  Is Global warming “good or bad”?

Our moral conditioned mind will say “ It is bad.” Yet, our human “progress” depends on it. In a nutshell, the “economy needs global warming to thrive.” More cars, more coal powered electrical stations, more energy dependent sources on petrol and oil which are used in greater quantities as human population increases. 
What we DO is in contradiction with what we say. It is called politics. 

Do we see how something which we apparently call “bad” could be turned into “good” after a couple of turns in the streets of Life? We could change our perspective of “good and bad,” due to mass media and political pressures, but we cannot change the consequences.

Every belief and support in something labeled as “good” will bring its “bad” effect as well. Observe the current international situation between Iran and the USA.  We are used to take sides based on our assesment of  the “good and bad;” however, ego manifested as desire for control, is the “real” cause to observe and that ego is more important in the “normal” human mind than to respect Life. No matter what religious or moral teachings we may have superficially accepted about protecting Life; sooner or later the “truth” of who we ARE will come out. Then, the question of choosing countries and pair them with a label such as “good or bad” seems very infantile. Another example? it is said that the belief in God has brought some social order but many lives have been taken as well due to that belief.  Our conditioning will follow what mainstream teaches us, but every belief has 2 sides which cannot be taken apart: To separate a duality to support one side and reject the other is insane; however, it is the “bread and butter” of our spiritual/religious/moral teachings.

Many years ago while I was running, a car hit a deer. The deer could hardly walk and went near the bushes to the side of the road. I looked for help as I didn’t know what to do. A couple of firefighters came with a security guard. They offered shooting the deer with a gun and “end its misery.” The firefighters “jokingly” (but seriously) were talking about eating the deer afterwards. I was in my late twenty’s at the time. I wanted for the deer to be in a tranquil space and asked for help because I thought the deer could get well. Nevertheless, I had to forcefully convince the people around me to let the deer go naturally. The “help” I brought, didn’t help in my view. I could see the face of despair of the deer. I couldn’t understand how some people were not sensible to pain and suffering. There was no empathy. Their “economic interests” were more important. From the time the deer was hit until it finally died, about 1 hour lapsed. I saw the deer die, and then the “helpful” people helped themselves.

Now, I understand that other humans will see Life with different eyes. Where some see despair and anguish; others see an opportunity to eat. Who is to say that my view is “good” and theirs “bad”? Judgment is out of the way in Life. There will be consequences for all players. No matter what we believe is “good or bad.” Life is about the experience of consequences. Are we able to OBSERVE the consequences of our own actions? As a consequence of this incident, I developed a trauma: I had to fight with others to impose my views which I thought were “right,” “compassionate,” etc. Superior than other people’s views. Also, the witnessing of pain and suffering in others affected me as if it was my own. Empathy is different than suffering for others. Their experience is not mine.  Those traumas were with me for a long time.  I am sure other consequences were experienced by the other “players” of the deer scene, although they may not be aware of that.

Beyond duality, there is the common good which cannot be perceived by the conditioned mind. It is only felt when there are no reasons or interests at stake. 

The thought of violence

Many times I hear that part of Education is to teach the student “how to think.”
Actually, that is called conditioning, in a mild way. The proper label is violence.

Most individuals do not realize how violence has been ingrained by society. The competitive “spirit” hungry for success is violence, as it is not concerned at all for the common good. It is just about “ME” and “MY” loved ones. If we want to observe this with some depth, we may need to inquire about the nature of thought:

“Thought is the response of the brain that has recorded. If the brain did not record, you would have no thought or knowledge. It is like a registering machine. From knowledge is memory, and the response of memory is thought.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 24 December 1977
Notice the automatic process of thought. That mechanism is unable to be creative. It only repeats what is recorded, although with variations. That may be a “good thing” to learn some technical skill, but the art of living is not concerned with that skill at all.
Out of that repetition and the obsession of “becoming number 1” to feel “successful” in society, the thought of violence was generated.

“Thought has created violence in me, and then it creates non-violence to be achieved, and then there is conflict.”
J. Krishnamurti – Buddhist Scholars Discussion in Madras, 21 January 1985
Observe the contradiction. I AM vs. I SHOULD BE. What SHOULD BE is an ideal. That is the main component of the rhetorical talk of a politician. Those are the “feel good” words that most want to listen. We don’t want to SEE what IS. We are blind. 

What is needed is a new way to deal with what IS.
“Please learn. Learn to observe, not memorize. We have contradiction only when we are not dealing with what is actually going on. Because we don’t know how to deal with what is going on, we invent the ideal, which is an escape. If you want to change what is going on, don’t have contradiction. Then you have the energy to deal with what is, instead of wasting energy in contradiction, having ideals and all the rest of it. I am violent, and my conditioning has been not to be violent, so I try to be non-violent. Whereas in actual fact, I am violent. So I am wasting my energy in trying to be non-violent. When I remove that, I have the energy to deal with what is – the energy to observe the fact of being angry. I won’t use the word ‘anger’ because the word is not the thing. Therefore there is only that reaction. The moment you name it, it becomes stronger. By associating through that word with the past, you are giving it strength. If you don’t name it, it soon dissipates. Eliminate contradictions altogether, and you are dealing only with what is actually going on.
J. Krishnamurti – Public Discussion 1 in Madras (Chennai), 27 December 1977

What should I DO to eliminate violence in me?
Acknowledge it. Do not fight it. OBSERVE it when it appears and become aware on how “I “want to demonstrate my supremacy over others, then we invent escapes, such as pride, shame, competition, non-violence and even nationalism.

“Nationalism is a poison.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public talk 2 in Bombay (Mumbai) 25 January 1981.
As the emotion is OBSERVED without labeling it or judgment; there is a space where it could be seen to its root causes. Every person may have a different root, although the “output” is violence. Observation is not concerned with results or the goal of “becoming better.” Observation is only concerned with OBSERVATION.

Thought, memory, thinking, conditioning, action; which in our society usually results in violence. It is a vicious cycle.
For those eager to “practice” and learn this “new method,” there is a catch:
“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” –  J. Krishnamurti.  There is no achievement, no “becoming better,” no reward in the afterlife, no “special mention” and honors, no utility whatsoever in our “money making” society. Can we handle that?

The fallacy behind “improving yourself.”

The teaching has been to DO something to become “better” in Life. That conditioning entails to negate who we ARE to pursue what “should be.” It is thought that DOING (some goal oriented action) will attain a “better” state of BEING.
Observe how our society supports this view. We encourage young people to obtain more, gain more, acquire more to become “better.” We encourage greed through the separation of “I” vs. “you.” We call that “ healthy competition.” Our society is founded on that principle. We need to compete and win, to become “better,” but nowadays as the amount of “competitors” have increased tremendously, to “win” is even necessary to survive. Paradoxically, the most “intelligent” species of the planet basically lives Life, to survive.
That ideology has ill consequences for society and the common good.

The same principle is applied into religious teachings and spirituality for the “masses.” Here, the prize is in the afterlife, whereas in society; the prize comes in this lifetime after some years of “sacrifice.”
That “prize,” whatever it may be; becomes the motivation. Therefore, every action that we take to pursue something “better” has a motive; a “because” when someone asks “why?”.

J. Krishnamurti observed:

“How do you observe the fact that you are conditioned? Do you observe it with the desire or motive that you must be free of it? If so, you have created a contradiction. So can you be free to observe without a motive? Motives are born out of your conditioning.”

When we create a contradiction from “what is” into what “should be,” then; our actions are goal oriented; nevertheless, the goal is an ideal, and the ideal is never “real.”

“I want to be humble.” That is the ideal. There will be some actions to follow as to accomplish the ideal of “humble.”
Our idea of “humble” cannot be the full extension of BEING humble no matter how much we practice. Thought out actions cannot attain what is in the realm of BEING. Without deep observation, understanding, acknowledgment of “what is”, the outcome will bring fake transformation. In short, deep observation is action.

To observe, to become deeply aware is the “true” action, and that brings change without motive, thus; true change, for observation is not concerned with labels or moral standards.
Observation requires attention, it has to occur without motive; that is without the mental explanation: “I am doing this because…”

On attention, J. Krishnamurti pointed out:

“Attention may last a second. That is good enough. Don’t be greedy to have more. In the greed to have more, you have already created the centre, and then you are caught.”

There is a motive which brings the conditioned “I” to the surface; that is the one who “wants to be better,” but that wanting is the reason why we cannot BE.

Observe that this “self-improvement” of “not wanting,” is the complete opposite of what our society has conditioned us to believe.

Awareness and deep observation has been replaced by the pursue of an empty ideal, which may bring “economical progress” to our society, but where quality of life is lacking.
A world taught to compete by dividing itself into little groups and little flags is deep sleep, as it is incapable of realizing that those divisions are illusions, which participants are unable to break free from. It is a strong conditioning.
For them, “freedom” is merely to comply with the ideal of “going away from one country flag to stay in another,” without realizing that we are still slaves of the illusion of division which is fueled by competition, which in turn; provides a motive, a purpose to live Life in society, which is bound to exist in contradiction with the ideas and illusions of other human beings.

The conditioning of the collective consciousness

Many seekers are sensible to perceive the type of mental madness going on in our human society. However; when given the chance to leave all behind; they will feel trapped. There is too much at stake to “lose”.
“ I have my job, my family, my possessions, my reputation…” those will weigh more than anything else. Nevertheless, that wasn’t a problem for a Buddha, a Jesus or a Mahavira among a list of others; who were passionate about their search. They had plenty to “lose,” and that was their way to gain consciousness.

Thus, in a military formation, we follow. We comply. We go with inertia. The end result is a conditioned, fearful individual unable to perceive the world outside the common boundaries set aside by the traditions and views of society.

If an intelligent being from out of space could be able to live among us for a brief time, he could observe some relevant facts which “normal” individuals are unable to perceive:

“ Humans have created “countries” ( a kind of mental limit of one group of people from another. Limits can go from language, looks or beliefs) when there are no truly physical boundaries. That artificial separation, could go on: States, cities, neighborhoods… The separation continues on until there is a small group of people living together which they call “family.” There are divisions among families as well.

This mentality of separation is used frantically to view Life. As a consequence there is violence among groups to “survive”. That violence surrounds human beings throughout their lives. It is man against man, group against group just to “get ahead.”
A toned down flavor of violence is called “competition.” A human born in such environment is taught to compete. “Survival of the fittest” it is said. Humans consider themselves the most intelligent species. However, no other species harms their habitat as much as humans. Other species live in balance with each other to assure their survival. If a species becomes extinct, it is due to human policies.

Humans live in competition with each other. Even their games are about competition. They have “winners and losers.” It is hard to describe what winning is, for it is merely a moment of feeling elation for subduing all the other competitors.

Humans have created a reward system for “winners”. No one wants to be a “loser”, thus dishonesty appears as consequence for “winners” create “losers.”
Humans have created a bartering system to survive in society, which is tinted with competition. Their system relies in the irrational trust of paper which is known as “money.” They exchange paper for services. Most humans will do anything to obtain those pieces of paper, which are colored with pictures of other humans from the past. That “money” has a number which means the exchange value but there is nothing valuable backing that money.
Interestingly, humans have created wealth and poverty among their own groups. Paradoxically, humans struggle to put an end to poverty. They are hesitant to create more paper money to create opportunities for the poor as their system will reduce the overall value of their “currency” (paper) of that location compared with others, which will affect their production of goods and being able to sell it. It is a complicated system based on the whim of those who have lots of paper money competing with each other to preserve their power to subdue those who have less paper money with them. Everything they do in their society is about buying or selling: Buy cheap, sell expensive. Make profit. That is their beloved “mantra.”

Humans mask their violent ways with ideologies of peace and equality; however those systems clash against each other producing more conflicts. Overall, humans are a violent species, but overall they have high hopes to change some day, they believe in change …”

The above description is the weigh of conditioning from our collective consciousness. To get away from that is the easiest way to de-condition.
That is why a wealthy, powerful man cannot self-realize and so those who are invested in their professions for unwillingly, these individuals help preserve the collective conditioning.

Without peeling that layer, there is no true passion in a seeker who seeks the “truth” of self knowledge. That is one of the “filters” in the path.

While out of the system, a seeker has the time to observe unaffected. What would you do with your time if work, entertainment, friends and relatives are out of your life?
How is consciousness able to change if we are always “busy”?

With time, we could sit in a park, contemplate that setting and smell the roses. We could truly look at Life and observe the “rat race” happening. We could learn to enjoy our own company. We could learn to appreciate the simple things in Life: Cooking your meals, sweeping your place. Learning to play a musical instrument. Becoming AWARE of what is like to live without trying to accomplish, compete, achieve and getting the approval of the masses for name and fame.

Many will think: “That is boring”. But then, those are the ones who sooner or later will look for “peace.”
Perhaps when they “retire”…. RIP.

Living in a mental box of “righteousness.”

Life is unexpected, dynamic, ever changing. Our society taught us to behave and meet situations with a recipe or pre-cooked package of actions, moral standards and laws.

We believe that a particular action labeled as “moral” is useful for all situations. That is not so. When our moralists realize that, then we try to create another recipe that will fit all. As a consequence, many discusions will arise leading nowhere.

As we go beyond conditionings, we will find that Life is only met fully in the moment.
Experiences are personal and could be used as personal guidelines but never as commandments or laws which can apply to all.
This realization will take away our neediness to be “right,” or to give free advice to others.

One thing is to say “in my experience…” another to say “my advice to you is…”

My favorite cup is made of blue glass. If I was that cup, I will see things “blue.”    (reminds me of the “blue song.”) Through that center of personal experiences all I could feel comfortable with is that which I recognize: Perhaps another cup made of glass. I will not be able to distinguish colors as all I see is blue.
It will be a mistake to believe that everything is of blue color. In fact, I wouldn’t know colors at all. I wouldn’t understand what a color is, for I will need to experience contrasts to see that.

Most individuals in the world are trapped in their sense of self and their self centered perception, their own experiences which would like to label as “truth,” “right,” and all of those words which will make us feel “better and above.”

We could choose to meet Life intellectually. We could choose to follow a determined philosophy or belief but in doing so, we are creating a particular cup of a particular color. Life is much greater than that.

As I observe my kitchen, living room, bedroom, house, neighboorhood, city, country, continent, etc… I could observe that there is no end. Everything is so different, unknown, mysterious and yet “I” pretend to know it all… “I” pretend to be “right.”
I am just a cup of glass with extraordinary value as I am unique, but just like everything else. We tend to value things through their utility, but that is another conditioning. If it IS, it has the right to BE. That is value.

I heard the saying “Ignorance is bliss.” I understand the meaning of that; but also that “knowledge” is truly a kind of ignorance.
Blissful, if we don’t take it so seriously as the “only truth;” however, miserable if we completely believe in it.
There is no knowledge able to contain Life.