Caught up in the “reality” of the “I,” there cannot be witnessing until there is “No-I.”
When the “I” becomes “real,” a static entity with a personality who divides the world and himself as 2 different things; then our mind set of individuality arises.
Within that individuality is how our traditions, belief systems and perspective of reality are shaped.
A new consciousness is to be open to experience “no-I” as the other aspect of polarity, which will make our range of perception complete.
This is not just “knowing,” but to experience it, to live it. At that point, the question “who I am” is senseless.
Predestination and Free Will are inventions of the “I.”
Therefore, the question: “Are we predestined or do we have free will?” is completely out of the way, senseless.
Life may be a circular range of opposites but complementary energies (polarity) meant to self sustain itself through the processes of “creation” and “destruction.”
Those processes are experienced as “life stories” by the experiencers, that is how the “I” becomes “real.”
However, those who “experience” are truly part of the story as well.
Until there is “no-I.”
Then, there is witnessing of the story.
There is no one witnessing, but there is only witnessing.
That is where the “soul” comes into the picture.
It is empty. Void of personality. We are that emptiness.
Who I am?
Emptiness… therefore, everything. Totality. Like an empty glass, a container… like a window space a door space… Not the door or the window itself, but the space, the empty space.
Do I have to make effort to be a “detached observer”?
Isn’t that the “I” making effort? The “I” wanting to become someone? Isn’t that the same “I” wanting paradise for himself?
Be Conscious, aware.
The range of experiences moves spontaneously, for we are not separated from the story, from Life.
Consciousness is that which all living beings have in common. Different type of consciousness, yes; but consciousness nevertheless.
That is why there is no one who can change their own consciousness, as that perception of being an “I” is part of the story, part of Life… it will change by itself as Life is change, and as we live, we change, we evolve, nothing is static, not even that “I”…. But our mind dwells on static, comfortable, secure things…
The mind says that “I” am static, when all there is static about this persona is the name, a label.
All diseases are psychosomatic. Observe that there is no separation between the body/mind/soul. It is a continuous of interlaced “things.”
Your stomach hurts? That stomach is related with other bodily parts as well as with emotions/sensations. To try to separate this “reality” of oneness is to create a problem for adaptation.
When there is lack of adaptation, there is a disease.
That is why, when we say: “I am a soul/spirit and not a body,” that innocent phrase creates rejection of the body by placing it below other things deemed to be “good,” “holy,” etc.
That rejection creates an aversion to the pleasurable sensations that the body could bring for the sake of being “spiritual.”
If we label “spirituality” as the absence of consciousness of a body, we are negating the reality of the wholeness of the experience of Life.
Therefore, the question “Who am I?” is a limit for adaptation.
As we define “who I am?” that which we think we “are not” becomes the “thing” to reject, negate, forget, and even pretend that it is not there.
A definition narrows down the extension of our “knowing,” what is meant to be without borders.
When something does not have artificially created borders, it is open for further exploration, it is open for newness.
Is the “virtue” of goodness something that you value in someone?
When that goodness is limited by our beliefs and philosophies; that goodness is no longer goodness but just a “picture” instead of the “real” thing.
Paradoxically, our concepts, our “knowledge” become a limitation to adapt to the changes in Life.
As Life changes, some would like to remain static in time:
Decaying rather than evolving; while believing in the virtue of being true to a static belief.
The old paradigm of dual moral teachings based on the acceptance of what is considered to be “good” over that which is considered to be “bad,” is no longer what is required for our consciousness to expand.
Because that paradigm brings guilt and fear, which in turn will not allow us to adapt to Life’s changes.
It is not that guilt and fear are “bad,” but they have timing. Those emotions could be a protection for sometime, to avoid acting in a certain way; but as Life changes and our consciousness do not, that guilt and fear become the ingredients for our own auto destruction.
As our consciousness grows, a different perception will arrive. It is called integration.
Some people like to call integration as “There is nothing bad.”
That definition becomes the door for misunderstanding.
Let me rephrase it: “There is nothing bad, because there is nothing good.” Everything is and by being what it is, there are only consequences, which will change according to time.
There is nothing static in Life, but our concepts, ideals, standards and the way our minds understand the world.
In that dissonance, it is difficult to flow with Life when all we are looking for is for Life to adapt to our needs and wants.
In a sentence, it is the drop of water wanting to control the Ocean.
Isn’t that ironic? If not plain stupid?
“I am a soul not a body.”
What about the mind?
What about the spirit?
Why some religions and philosophies spend so much of their beliefs in “conquering the mind” or “controlling the mind” if “I am not the mind”?
That is perhaps one of the most important realizations to go beyond the “head” and into the feeling of living Life.
Every word has an opposite.
That is how duality is created in our communication.
Now, that we could see this handicap inherent in the way we “think” (for words are needed to express thoughts) then we could see how plain stupid is the idea of “defining” God, “defining” who I am, “defining” Life, etc.
Do we see that we are using words to express in duality that which is not possible to express through duality?
Do we see how thinking alone cannot bring a different state of consciousness, other than the perception of separation?
Living life in joy is not concerned in the most minimum in defining or conceptualizing Life.
Do not define yourself to be able to change, to flow, to live.
The unity of the body, mind, spirit, soul is artificially divided through thought; when in “reality” it is unity which no label or definition could touch.
Do we see that?
Moreover; the unity of body, mind, spirit, soul is ONE with everything else, for it cannot exist all by itself. Totality.
Do we see that?
Let me put it in another way.
Any thought is doomed to separate what otherwise is not. That is why any “intellectual” cannot “walk his talk” in “spirituality.”
“ Me and God alone.”
That phrase is full of separation. Full of “I.”
Let me put it in yet another way…. 🙂
Thinking and its entire family of beliefs, judgments, assumptions, analysis, logic and reasoning are not the “tools” to live Life in Joy.
I could hear a “black or white” follower saying:
“ Thoughts are bad then. We must make effort not to think.”
That is a gross misinterpretation just as to believe that by denying ourselves from Life’s pleasures and becoming an ascetic or a “renunciate” we could be “better.”
Thoughts are extraordinary tools to live Life in the “office world.”
Integration rather than rejection.
Life’s pleasures are part of the whole experience of living.
Separating pleasure from pain, we have created a duality. Choosing one over the other, we have created an illusion.
There is no separation between pleasure and pain for the experience of one, necessarily leads to the experience of the other.
Just like the experience of hot and cold, light and darkness, good and bad…
Want to feel guilty? Want to ask God for forgiveness?
Make that separation. That is all it takes.
When someone asks a question related with my “past,” it is interesting to note how in their mind, “I have not changed.” If I was to cling with something from “the past” then that change wouldn’t be possible. To let go from the past is essential to continue changing.
Thanks to the question from one reader, I have decided to express the above in my own experience. Hope this may be helpful for some.
One of the most important realizations so far in my path, as mentioned before; is that I cannot lie to myself. I need to be completely honest with myself.
But how can you lie to yourself?
🙂 In many ways.
In relationships: To have someone rather than being alone even though there is no feeling. In business: To do something, which you don’t feel to be “right” because the boss said so.
Let me just bring “my” religious experience.
As a child, I was put into a French Catholic school. That was the place when I learned about Jesus and God. Before my “first communion” before becoming a “soldier of God,” I was supposed to write in my little diary that the priest had given me, how I have done different things for “love of Jesus.”
My booklet went something like this: “I didn’t feel like doing my homework, but I did it because I love Jesus.” “I was upset when my mom nagged me to make my bed, but I did it because I love Jesus.”
Teaching: It does not matter how you feel as long as you do things you are asked to. Talk to yourself that you are not doing those things for them, but for God or Jesus.
Now I see, that was the starting point of my inner lies.
I never met Jesus. I never met God; but if the priest told me so; then that must be true. As I became older, my consciousness changed and as I was wondering about the creation of the world, sin and being punished … It was interesting to hear the answers from the priests and nuns.
“Just in the moment when apes became human, that is when the power of God almighty came to Adam, giving him free will.” That was the nun’s explanation on how to make evolution work with creationism. “Yes, the Bible is the word of God. Defend it.”
Everyone around me “believed” in that, so why not me? My consciousness at that time wasn’t able to see anything else.
My consciousness kept changing through other experiences and found out about commercialism and consumerism. “God” from what I experienced there, was a business after all. A way to control individuals rather than an inner path for self-transformation.
Somehow I ended up reading about Marx and Nietzsche when other 17-year-old kids were busy with girlfriends. My consciousness wasn’t the same as theirs.
Life continues and I met a friend who was my running coach. He was a deep Christian who had another side that I didn’t know from priests: “ He let me be as I was without trying to change me, to correct me.” That changed me… My perception about religion changed and I explored other branches of Christianity. However, my consciousness and my intellectual reasoning started to evolve to the point where, their reasons were not logical enough to outdo mine. I enjoyed that very much. It gave me the sense that “I knew” but I was still searching.
Christianity became a “sad religion” for me. I switched into a happy one: “The Hare Krishna.” I learned about being vegetarian there, I learned about dancing as an expression of worship, laughing and being in community as long as “I loved Krishna.”
The followers had experiences with Krishna just as the Catholic priests with Jesus.
The fun stage experienced there, was easily overcome by my reasonable skills. Science knows the answers. Mr. Spock was my “role model.”
All of that scientific stuff was dropped during College days. That is when I met Krishnamurti “randomly” while picking up a book to read at the college library. I was able to relate with what he was talking about: Education, thinking, discover your own path, traditions and so on. Those lines remained in my mind for many years after college.
“Kwai Chang Caine,” became my “role model” before going into the “business world.”
I became a “success story” in the “world at the office” and in the view of society; but inside me a fear of losing everything including my life, was overwhelming.
What if I don’t wake up after a good night sleep?
During that questioning is how I met the Brahma Kumaris through my sister. She was the most “unreligious” person I ever met and thanks to the experience in the Brahma Kumaris, she changed. At least in the surface.
The experience in the Brahma Kumaris was unlike anything before. It was the first time that I had experiences with “other entities,” one of them was the founder of Brahma Kumaris, Brahma Baba. I didn’t know who he was. Didn’t care in the beginning but through that experience my life changed completely.
My world turned upside down, but I thought, I found what I was looking for.
What I completely rejected at one time (Brahma Kumaris,) became completely acceptable thanks to that experience. The “self” that I built through years of “success” in the “office world,” disappeared all of the sudden through different experiences. That was very hurtful.
To put myself in the “furnace heat” of living an isolated life style where I couldn’t mingle with anyone else from “normal” society; was shocking… but I did it, “because I love God.”
How can you love God if you don’t truly know what love is?
Who is the one who needs to know love?
Is loving God (by saying it, or defending a religion) love? or perhaps is the feeling that we “think” is love?
That is the starting point of another path.
The gist of the matter is not about God, but about Me. Through living in the Brahma Kumaris’ isolated environment gave me the chance to know a bit about myself.
The environment was given by the Brahma Kumaris, but to replace my previous conditioned ideology with their ideology, wasn’t allowing me to discover “Me.”
It doesn’t matter how truthful an ideology may be. If I do not discover it by myself, it is just “blind faith.”
I could talk to myself all I want about “I am a soul not a body.” That may be true, but if I do not feel that in my “reality,” I am lying to myself. In Spirituality, to know the path means to walk it.
I felt drawn to Nature and Taoism. I explored organized Zen as well, but what I discovered is that followers in a higher position without the experience of what they believe in, tend to put everything into what they know: A business or a dogmatic hierarchy based on who supports the institution the most. In short: Followers destroy little by little the experience of the founders. When a place meant for inner transformation becomes a “lifestyle” instead, then fashion arrives and with that depth goes out of the window.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. “Mathias” the wise tree, appeared little by little for many years already. He is a good friend of mine. He knew my sister since she was a kid. I got to know him when I started my “career” in the Brahma Kumaris. He is a manifestation of Nature through a tree. That is the presentation that he prefers.
What I learn from him is to know myself and to feel universal love. Mathias introduced me to Tantra; then I understood Osho’s teachings on that. From there, I met “Miguel” (a being of light) who is “teaching” me to explore the feelings of the heart.
I value all the paths that I have been. Every single one of them has taught me something important in my life.
The paths outlined above are not for everyone; those are not the “true paths” but they are part of our individual paths.
When consciousness originates the change, there is no sense of guilt or feeling bad when changing previous ideologies or beliefs, because it is like going from high school into College; still learning but different things according to our consciousness.
On the other hand, when change happens through a reaction or collision, through feeling cheated or through conflicts of egos or even through not listening to our consciousness, then guilt will arrive.
As mentioned many times already, this blog is meant to share my experiences and my state of consciousness at a particular time. That is why it may appear as if 2 individuals wrote it (Avyakt7 and Ahnanda). Those are the same person.
If someone is looking for the only “truth,” this is not the place for it. If someone is looking for God, you may have to go through different paths, to give him the opportunity to manifest in different ways. If you are looking for salvation, a place in Paradise or some other “upgrade,” this is not the place.
However, if you are looking for an honest sharing without any strings attached…Perhaps you’d like this blog.
In a nutshell: God cannot punish me for being honest with myself.
Sharings now, may not be easily digestible. They may not be for “general audiences” anymore.
That is the small print.
Every time the words “I am a soul” are mentioned, there is an inherent separation, a rupture which will be experienced by those located in the consciousness of individuality.
When we add in that consciousness words such as: “I am a soul and not a body,” then automatic negation of the body will appear. For some it could even go to the extreme of denial of everything the body represents.
In the path of the “Life walker,” the first thing we may want to be conscious of, is to be honest with ourselves. That is, to stop lying and denying our “true” perceptions.
Some may “know” that they are “souls” but when the body feels ill, they may realize that the theory behind “I am not the body” may need to be checked. If “I am not the shoe” and the shoe is bothering you , just take the shoe off and continue walking barefooted in joy.
That is not the case with the body.
This mentality of dissecting things, to find out who “we are” is clouded by our language, by thinking and intellectual understanding.
The word “soul” is a concept open to interpretation. To live life pretending that “I am experiencing that interpreted concept” is a self-infused lie.
There is an essence that feels in every human being, we could call it “soul” but that essence is void of personality and individuality.
It is the identification with the body what brings individuality along with the consciousness going at a particular point in time, which creates a personality.
The “soul,” the essence; is like a camera. The camera is meant to take pictures. To take pictures is the nature of the camera. To say “I am a camera” without considering the pictures is of no consequence.
In that analogy, the pictures are what the camera is able to do through its sense organs (body) however, there is a need of a “perceiver.” That “perceiver” is brought about by consciousness.
When someone is “unconscious” the “soul” is there but there is no feeling. Lights out.
That is why consciousness is what every sentient being has in common. Without consciousness the “soul” is nothing, but a dormant sleepy beauty… although eternal.
That is how we could explore consciousness without denying the perception of who “we are.”
Consciousness perceives. That perception may change in time. When a sense of individuality has been created, the mind and thoughts come into the picture to support that idea of “I am.” The ego when supporting that idea, contradicts the free flowing changes in consciousness.
Do we see that?
Therefore, wouldn’t make sense to study, to observe that which supports the idea of “self”? Our emotions, traumatic experiences, judgments and thoughts do not allow that universal consciousness to manifest as it should be according to time.
The kid “who decides” to stop playing with dolls in a natural way; could experience a psychosis if a dogma prescribes that “to play with dolls is good” and it must be done for as long as the kid lives for otherwise, there will be punishment.
That is the religious mentality of fear and punishment. Paradoxically, it is not bad; but necessary for the growth of many, to become aware.
Mathias the wise tree; suggested an easy exercise for conscious living to Ananda.
Here it goes:
“Sit down early in the morning with your palms in your lap facing upwards. Breathe in and out feeling your breath as your stomach inflates and deflates, synchronize your thoughts and feelings to be one along with your breathing.
That is consciousness without movement.
The next step is to put everything together while moving. Be conscious of your breath while walking as well as your thoughts and feelings.
That is all.”
It seems so easy… 🙂
Do we recognize our thoughts? Do we recognize our feelings? Do we know what our breathing is?
There are no concepts in that practice to believe in, nothing to lie ourselves about. Simple as a bird flying high in the sky… 🙂
Duality is a word used by many philosophies and religious beliefs alike. That word is seldom understood practically. Most are just caught up in conceptual understanding, information, history, research, etc. All of that is “good” but paradoxically it is not important if we are looking to open our consciousness.
Heaven and Hell is a well-known duality. There is no way to separate one and the other. To choose heaven over hell is like choosing the day over the night when the practical experience is that both states need to be experienced. Practically, experientially there is no “choosing.”
We cannot experience heaven without knowing what is hell. As a matter of fact, we cannot know “good” unless we know “evil.”
Religions, philosophies and so on have taught us to label one side of the coin as “good,” while rejecting the other side as “bad.”
That is how the whole game of duality in beliefs are in existence:
Pure vs. impure, black vs. white, paradise vs. hell, god vs. satan, Lucky ones vs. unlucky ones, saints vs. sinners, etc.
As we realize now, every rejection means that our consciousness will close down and align into the “black or white” mentality and thus, choices in life.
Because we are rejecting an experience of life and there is no difference between “I” and life.
Here is another “secret formula” 🙂 for those interested in concepts:
Non-duality is Oneness.
The experience of Oneness is included in emptiness.
To be empty means to experience the canvas without paint, the soul.
Nevertheless, if we choose the soul and not the body (duality) we have not experienced the soul.
Because the experience of that soul means non-duality.
In the above “secret” formula all religions and philosophies with their different terminology are included.
The key is inclusion, integration of everything; but through our analytical minds, we only separate.
Where is God in the formula?
You are merged with “him” when you are empty. Isn’t that oneness? 🙂
If God is “love” as the cliché mentions; could love be something different from Oneness? 🙂
If we think that duality is “bad,” we have not understood anything. If we label “hell” as “bad” we have not understood a thing.
All experiences are necessary.
There is no experience that could last forever for everything is change (as mentioned in other articles.)
If we reject something, we get caught up in it.
Ego will make a trauma out of an experience which ego does not like.
That experience will not last forever. It will go away like everything else.
Do we feel sad because everything “goes away”? 🙂
Then, we have not understood anything yet.
We get back into duality again and again, that is separation by creating the emotional states of sadness and happiness.
Life flows. From one perspective (point of reference,) life flows away… that is why it will necessarily come back again. 🙂 That is the game.
Non emotional happiness is non-dual.
That is contentment, joy, elation, bliss… all of those words… but the real thing is beyond the definitions, beyond what ideas, beliefs and dogmas could bring.
Practical openness to life so we could enjoy life:Through our thoughts, feelings, good wishes… actions.
That is all. 🙂
The “soul” or essence, cannot be viewed only as something individual for paradoxically; the Totality is in it.
If the above cannot be understood, perhaps by looking at the concept of “self-similarity” which brought about “fractal art,” then this idea could be intellectually understood.
The whole has the same “shape” as the parts.
In consciousness, “we” are the parts making up the whole.
Therefore, our consciousness of how we relate with the world is nothing but how we relate with ourselves.
“I am the world.”
This “I” has a personality in it. To go beyond that personality is to find our essence.
To deny the personality just to embrace the essence is what a “black or white” consciousness could observe.
The personality is “bad.” The essence is “good.”
However, when we understand the world through its paradoxical aspect, we cannot embrace one side of the coin and deny the other, for one side depends on the other side to be a coin.
This understanding will bring about a different consciousness.
Yes, we are the essence, but while living life, we also have a personality which could develop ego, that is isolation from the Totality which in turn will bring the effect of suffering.
That is how spirituality is not about denial. It is about integration of the 2 sides of the coin.
That essence, the soul is timeless, but when our consciousness is located in the personality, then time exists.
Does time exist?
🙂 Tell me about your consciousness and “I” will tell you an answer according to that.
A wrist watch has hands moving continually in a circle. That is life.
When the point of reference is 3 o’clock, then our consciousness will believe that it has 60 seconds to enjoy life, for after that, 3:01 will arrive, which is different from 3 o’clock.
We call that death.
Nevertheless, the hands of the watch will keep moving and even repeating the same movement, for that is the way a watch works. Just like the Universe. Life.
Who created the watch?
No one. The watch is all there is. It exists the moment we become conscious of it.
But… someone has to give power to it, for the hands to move… 😉
50 years ago, the example of the wristwatch would not have been a good example, for a battery is needed for the watch to work.
Someone created the battery… and the battery is something separate from the wristwatch.
Now, we have solar-powered watches. No battery needed. The Universe provides itself the energy which it needs to move. Movement is what exists. Nothing is idle.
This example only wants to convey that to understand and explain to others “how everything works in life” depends upon having experiences that could closely match the phenomena.
“I” am limited by my own experiences.
That is how paradoxically words which are meant to explain something or to describe something, will be limited by the experiences of the one explaining his experience.
Any spiritual teaching has the same issue.
If I didn’t know about “fractal art,” I wouldn’t be able to explain the paradoxical nature of the soul. If “fractal art” did not exist, then there couldn’t be something in my experience to convey what I would like to.
I will be limited.
When we abandon all the concepts including the ones explained above, we only need to realize about our own immortality.
That is all. However we get there, that may need to be experiential.
That is the “time” when enjoyment truly starts…
Put the ideas and concepts aside. Put the reasoning aside, and then we are left with the experience of enjoyment of what is… for however long is lasts… for that enjoyment can only last as long as our consciousness is aware of it. Paradoxically, when we forget about ourselves.
Everything resides in our state of consciousness.