The quest of identity
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.”
Conditioning in Death
Is there Life after death?
Generally, no. Neither for “you” or “I.”
What is death?
The complementary state of Life.
Is death painful?
Once “you” are death, No.
What happens after death?
You will find out, but “you” will not remember.
How does rebirth happen?
When “you” are no longer there, someone else is.
These kinds of questions will fill our minds. When a dear one dies, then we say : “How lucky I am !” and we will continue on with our “objectives,” “goals,” and “successful activities” as if there was no death at the end of the road, to wash away all of our “accomplishments.”
Our society has sold us the idea that there is a permanent “Me,” an unchanging “I” that needs to continue on in “heaven,” the “afterlife,” in another realm, even if it is “hell,” but “I” must continue.
In another realm, “I” will take a new label as a name: “Spirit” is good, “atma” (soul) is better…
A religion is nothing else but insurance for the “afterlife.” Your monthly payments are due now, while alive and then you are promised that “you” will get the pay off “over there.” What a sweet deal!
“The office world” will sell us “insurance” to be prepared for those events that we cannot control. With a little money back, we believe that we could compensate any “loss” from any “act of god.” But it doesn’t finish there. “I” have to take care of “my” family too, even though “I” am no longer here. The message is clear: “Live for others.” Worry, preoccupy in making sure that “part of you” survives very well, despite “you” going away.
Your heirs may not give a damn about the little cash you left, but “you” think that “you” have fulfilled your duties. A golden star in your chart when God counts your virtues for the final judgment, hell vs. heaven! Yeah It is all about “you.”
Our Life is filled with fear and then we fear death. Isn’t that a sorry state to be in?
If that “I” dies while living Life; who could die, when death arrives? That is the riddle!
I know, it is hard to “get it.” However, it is not meant to be “gotten.” It is meant to be experienced.
When? When you are ready. Until then, enjoy “your” Life.
Questions have been answered straight to the point, so free “yourself,” let your mind go for a walk, a long walk…. to enjoy. 🙂
The gist of “Spirituality”: Awareness and Surrender
Spirituality is related with the word “spirit” and that word is open to many meanings. How can we talk about “spirit” without the experience? Could a blind person speak about light?
Obviously, whatever he says about light will be far from what is, although he could speak scientifically about wavelengths and color spectrums. There is no experience. Nevertheless, even if we are not blind, whatever we say about light cannot be the “truth” but merely a description of it, of our own experience with “light”. The same principle applies when trying to make sense of “holy books” or “spiritual best sellers,” words cannot convey ‘truth’ only a partial description.
The other day I was talking with friends about “spirituality.” (i.e. Making the human experience “better”) Someone “discovered” (heard from others) that the problem of human suffering was related with ego.
“Get rid of the ego and you are free,” she said.
Bravo! That is the solution that most everyone knows. Why is not working? Why “knowing” the solution is not bringing the expected fruits? Oh! You need to “practice,” to follow the “right” method.
That is the next belief in the chain. What are you going to practice? An idea of what someone told you to be “right”?
Most are not AWARE of ego. Most only have concepts about it. Thus, how is it possible for ego to be dissolved, to SURRENDER it?
That is a key question.
Intellectual understanding of a concept does not change the individual. That is why “spirituality” as it is “now” is pure hogwash; nevertheless, “inspirational.” Any concepts that we bring in, will not accomplish the goal of “creating better human beings.” It will be all “pretty” talk; collectively we have become used to this.
Spiritual people ask the question: Who Am I? Any conceptual answer will not bring the experience of knowing ourselves. Because there is no AWARENESS, we could go on with some belief or with some dishonest phrase: We consistently say “I,” without knowing who that “I” is. We embrace another label such as “soul” or any other “spiritual” term, then we are “happy” with, for we believe to have the “right” answer.
When we are AWARE, we could perceive that we are not the body. Breathing happens. I am not DOING it. The heart pumps blood, I am not DOING it, thus; how can I say that “I am the body?”
When we are AWARE we could perceive that we are not the mind. Thoughts come and go without “my” control. They just appear and I want for them to go away, but I cannot DO that.
When we are AWARE we could see that any concept that I have not experienced, it is just conditioned information, “knowledge” coming from the mind.
Soul, Spirit, etc. are such learned concepts. I want to believe to be those, although I don’t know if I have experienced what the label entails, so I can be “spiritual” but I am faking it. If you have experienced to be a soul or spirit, please do me a favor: Change the label... Pick any other label, for your experience will be different from that of others.
When we are AWARE we recognize that “I will not be able to find who I am” for “I am always changing.” Paradoxically, I am the body, I am the mind, I am the soul, the spirit, I am ALL of those things that we believe to be, so why label to separate?
Paradoxically, the question “Who Am I?” is most important to formulate as long as I am not looking for an answer. Can the mind “understand that”?
Probably not. That is why, get out of the mind if you would like to experience you own wordless reality. That is part of deconditioning.
If you observe your own mind, you will be AWARE of it and then you will understand what the word ego, the “I” means, without using a dictionary definition.
Please be AWARE of this: We cannot live in the “NOW” as long as our mind IS. The mind is past or future only. To say: “I want my mind to be in the Now” is an ignorant remark for lack of awareness.
If you are in the NOW, you are in No-Mind.
Don’t believe me. Try it at home… BE AWARE of all of these things, so SURRENDERING happens.
If you believe that “I will surrender,” even though this phrase may be grammatically correct, in “spirituality” that phrase is completely senseless.
I am glad you asked. That is for you to find out. Your own journey.
Until March 20th! 🙂
Life is not meant to be understood
When a human being starts the journey of self-realization, many things may happen externally: Meetings with ‘God,’ ghosts, near death experiences, close encounters of the third kind, the Kundalini rising and the chakras aligning, etc, etc.
Those “experiences” are meant to motivate the seeker.
Internally, that individual is not aware of his emotions due to living Life experiences.
Emotions have a body response. They come as a consequence of a growing ego. Feelings are well beyond the “traumatized” individuality.
The external experiences are enticing but lack inner knowledge. Without inner knowledge there is no self-realization.
Thus after the external experiences have worn out in the seeker’s consciousness; then to deal with the mind becomes the first step into grasping “inner” rather than “outer.”
Most individuals at this time are lost in their own minds. Life is a concept to analyze. Purpose, meaning becomes the driving force. The ability to enjoy Life is almost gone.
“What is the purpose of stopping and taking the time to smell the roses?”
“What is the reason?”
That questioning destroys our wonder, our appreciation, our zest for Life.
Although some may want to tame and re-train the mind, there is no realization that it is the mind coming up with that “solution.”
The mind is trained to fight. Life is a struggle.
“We will fight for peace and the betterment of the human race.” Out of that political correct but meaningless phrase, a spark of intuition may appear: Harmony does not require a fight. It is not an inner struggle. It is to learn to use the inner audio “equalizer” according to the song that it is being played in Life. Some may call that “intuition.”
That “art” requires the ability to listen beyond what we have been taught, for Life will play songs that have never been played before. Therefore, there are not set “methods” or “rules of thumb” capable of dealing with such newness.
At this point, we may learn to feel. We may have been trained to believe that reasons are “better” than feelings. But, we may learn now that “better or worse” are inventions of the mind.
Life plays a song. It will change soon. Better or worse is of no consequence, when we understand that one song is related with the other, although they are different.
Isn’t that mind blowing?
Harmony. Hopefully that is more than another “spiritual” keyword.
Mind, body and soul. Heart, mind and gut/intuition. Aligned, together.
The concepts trying to separate which one is which, are useless mental constructs.
In a human being, those labels which separate are in “reality” intermingled, together, one.
Hard to understand? That is because it is not meant to be. Feel it. 🙂
Question on Overeating
“What are the causes of overeating and being overweight? I am curious to know about it from a spiritual angle.”
Thank you for your question.
First, Ahnanda does not write from any particular angle. You may believe that this is the “spiritual” angle; but then what is “spiritual”?
What is spirituality? Who decided to coin that name related with “spirits” rather than human beings?
When we are aware that we are endlessly dividing one self into body, spirit, soul, etc. we will realize that one “part” cannot be without the other.
It is senseless to “limit” spirit from the body out of a mental idea. In “reality” body/spirit/ soul are together for human beings to manifest in the physical realm.
Ahnanda writes about Life and is interested in living Life in a sensible way. For me, that is the art to know and “practice.” That is why this blog is titled “Exploring the depth of Living” rather than “exploring spirituality.”
Now into your question…
“Overeating”is the keyword in your question.
“Why do we overeat?” Some anxious belief in being “better,” a need of being rewarded, the compulsion of savoring a permissible pleasure of Life which is “OK” in our society, as many other pleasures may be considered “wrong,” “bad,” “taboos.”
Observe that I am not telling you the “cause” or the “causes.” I am just observing your question in myself. That is my experience of overeating.
No need to find “reasons” and be “rational” about it, when dealing with “emotions.”
If we were AWARE that our hands are feeding us and then aware of how we eat our meals, then that AWARENESS will cure us from overeating. But because we are not AWARE, our compulsions, anxieties and need for gratification will cloud our consciousness. Our emotions will dictate our compulsive behavior.
Did that sound like “Psychology 101”?
Sorry about that. It is not. I am not researching “others” and testing on demographic samples. I am just observing, watching myself.
How do we label that? Under which angle do we classify that “activity”?
Curiosity is a good thing to “get the answer,” but to wonder may be the key to “have the answer.”
Because curiosity looks for answers. When we wonder, we are observing, fascinated by just that. It is in that AWARENESS how the answer arrives, for there is no need to answer what haven’t been questioned.
You just know. 🙂
Everything is connected
When many perceptions are possible out of a fact, depending on the state of consciousness of the observer, then to select a particular option as the “only truth” will only strengthen the ego of an “I.” He will say: “I have the truth.” That is ego. The idea of “Having the truth” enhances the “I.”
“Who Am I?” has many possibilites. “Who am I not?” The body/soul/mind/spirit cannot live by itself, there is relationship, a connection with everything else.
Is the truth that “I am a soul”?
Ego needs a concise idea to thrive. That ideal is strengthened through the denial of those things which “I” do not believe to be.
The physical body is related through the subtle energies. The energy flowing through the “nadis” or subtle channels are in relationship with how healthy our physical and subtle bodies are. It is only the mind which is stubborn enough to make distinctions, separations where there cannot be.
Where does the soul start and where the body ends? That is an intellectual question, which has no answer. It is all together, all connected.
So, to say “I am a soul not a body” is wrong then?
Please forget the duality of wrong and right. Things are not black or white only. There are many colors in between, many perceptions for those who have eyes to see them.
The rainbow has many colors. The rainbow is only white light (day light) viewed through a particular lens. Could I say that day is only white light and call that the “truth”?
The mind is caught up with empty answers. Enjoy the rainbow! That is all…
An answer such “I am this and not that” does not matter. What truly matters is your ability to enjoy the experience. That enjoyment will change your attitude, your perception, your BEING.
The “I” wants to connect with his third chakra. The “I” wants to connect with God. All of that “wanting” is merely the cry of the petty “I.”
Connection, relationship is all there is, but if there is no AWARENESS of it, then the “I” will need to DO something about it; practice, make effort, study, ask for forgiveness, etc.
Because everything is connected. Everything is One.
The stages of “seeking” (2)
The first phase of a seeker is to be unconscious of the “I.”
The “I” wants to change the world. The “I” wants to be someone in the future. The “I” needs to make sure that God is with him. The “I” wants “divine” experiences to assure him how “special” he is. All about enhancing “I.”
The above is “pure” ego. That ego can only be increased through a “method.” That method is called a religion, a philosophy, a “truth,” a commandment.
To increase ego is important, awareness will come out of that.
Even though ego is an illusion, it is “real” when there is no awareness of it.
The illusion can only be increased until it becomes unbearable.
Ego is a function of living in a society, thus to step away from it, is the first step into the exploration of the “self.”
Nature is the “natural path” away from the influence of a society. We are “naturally” that. Artificially, we are the mind, separation, I-ness.
In the observation of Nature, there is a connection of sustenance, as a mother does with a child. The sense of belonging is born again.
This is how seeking turns around from the search of the “divine,” to allowing the “mundane” to be divine. The divine is not separated from the mundane. It merely unveils. It is there, but some eyes cannot see it.
Nature is Life. The “office world” is a human creation, but it is part of Life as well. That is how “integration” rather than “separation” is understood.
Little by little, the mind will let go its grip on things. In Nature, when we are part of it, there is no need to use the mind to “solve” any problems. Allow yourself to be “touched” through the sounds, lights and movements of Nature.
Concepts are not needed there.
For someone who has the “concept” of being a “soul” and not a body; the word “soul” merely replaces the word “I.”
“I am an I.”
When consciousness is located in the ego; the reality of “no-I” is completely unknown. That “soul” concept is truly “no-I.”
To say “I am a soul” is not accurate for the “I” does not exist. The soul is not an “I.”
The above cannot be understood by someone trapped in the mind. That is why Nature is the catalyst to be free from the mind.
There is a human vessel identifying with labels, relationships, stories; creating a “center” which is known as personality.
That vessel has “things” inside. The exploration of the contents of that vessel is the peeling of the “I.”
When a seeker arrives to this place, emotions, traumas and beliefs will need to be explored to empty the baggage. The realization that there is nothing to acquire, but rather to unlearn, to take away, to release the baggage, will be there. That is healing.
Even though it is said: “You are peace, bliss and happiness.” Still some want to GET peaceful, blissful and happy through some DOING, through some practice. There is nothing to GET, but rather to peel off, to give away.
The irony is: “You” ARE already, but cannot see it. “You” ARE what you are searching for… To be accurate, take away the “You,” then you will know what “I” am trying to convey.