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.”
The game of opposites
Opposites drive Life into movement. “Life changes” is the consequence of opposite energies.
Want to be “spiritual”? Want to be “good”?
Non-spiritual and “bad” has to be experienced. Thus, It is to be “bad,” “bad” after all? 🙂 It is a matter of time.
We will find people with opposite virtues/weaknesses, characters, perspectives, experiences, skills, etc. That is what is necessary for movement in the World to occur, yet; our conditioning will judge and label what is not considered “right” through our standards.
God needs the Devil. Police needs crooks, politicians need masses, day needs night… Get the picture?
Those apparent opposites work as “One,” practically it is a unity.
We say: “Body, mind and spirit,” to define a human being, but all of those separating labels cannot divide what is meant to be ONE.
Our minds will affect the way our bodies feel and our bodies, the perception of the mind.
For most the word “spirit” is not experiential. It is only a nice label to throw in there to “look spiritual.”
Nevertheless, whether we dissect a human into 20 types of bodies and 500 chakras, everything works as a unity. It is ONE.
Our education, our learning is based on information. That is second hand knowledge. That is worthless to understand Life, but for the human world, it is priceless stuff.
Once a human being is sold into the ways of society as the only “Life,” then he will not be able to connect with Nature, with Life itself.
In some minds, a concept is real: Triangles exist and so numbers. An” ideal” such as “justice” is supported, the unchanging ideal unable to fit “what is.” Life has its own “justice” which has very little resemblance to human justice. It is merely the experience of the opposite. We say “my karma.” One side of the full experience.
“Spirituality for the masses” keeps teaching its followers how to avoid change. How to stick with an ideal. “Summer is good. Don’t go into Winter for that is bad.” That creates inner dishonesty. A believer believes Summer to be the “right” thing, but he cannot stop the process of living Winter in his own skin.
The procession of the opposites is bound to pass by, it is the 2 faces of the coin which makes up ONE coin. Every time we choose one side, we cannot avoid the other to show up. It is a matter of time.
We have learnt to separate opposites, but from another vision; those opposites are complementary.
Every human experience has an opposite. Every Life journey will go through that trip. Today saint, tomorrow sinner. Where is the middle line? There is none… or we could make up one and label that as our “morality.”
Our conditioning to believe in labels don’t allow us to see the continuity of the rainbow: Different colors, even opposite of each other making up ONE white light.
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! 🙂
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. 🙂
The word of God
Looking back , nothings has filled “me” with more fear than knowing that, “I” wasn’t following the “word of God.” That experience was necessary for “me” at that time. When fear needed to go away…then the “word of God,” went away as well. Thus, fear is not “bad” but necessary in our path of “learning” through experiences.
What could be the “word of God” if we understand that there are different perceptions due to different consciousness and that the “I” cannot change this consciousness?
Perhaps a different God may be needed for every type of consciousness.
What could be the “word of God,” if every word has a polarity, which will need to be discovered through experience by the one walking Life? Every truth is a half-truth, half-falsehood. Every Paradox defies logic and reason…
What could be the “word of God,” if interpretations abound and words have no way of expressing the changes of Life, time and consciousness?
Have you found God? 🙂
Great! Let me know when you have found yourself.
Oh! so you know God… Let me share this with you: You can only know yourself.
Searching and finding are part of the on-going-process, part of the journey, which will take us back to the beginning; back to that “I,” perhaps into “no-I.”
When there is “no-I,” who is there to fear? Life does not fear itself.
Less “I” is more love. Less “I” is less fear. Less “I” is more opening to Life, in that state of consciousness, what type of commandment is needed? In that state, what type of “salvation” is required?
We make “God” and naturally, the “Devil” was made as well. Duality 101.
“Is the body different than spirit?”
For some “spirit” is “good,” the ideal. The body is temptation, sin, “bad.”
The duality of body and spirit is made. The rejection is invented.
Consider this: The body and the spirit come from the same Nature, from the Totality. They are only different degrees of vibrational energy. That is all. Just like cold and heat. Different polarities.
Our selection and preference of one side of duality will sooner or later make us experience that which we reject, that which feel against, that which we have formed strong beliefs to move away from.
Because everything, the shadow and the light are together. Our preference of one side means our rejection to the other side of Life; we are rejecting a part of ourselves and in that rejection there is the cause, which will bring the effect to experience that which we reject.
“But… how do I deal with something, which is not desirable?”
First, forget that there is something “not desirable.”
Then, forget that there is something to reject.
Embrace through the alchemist transformation.
“What is that?”
Lead is the raw material to obtain Gold.
That which we reject is the path to experience self-transformation.
More “I” means more Lead, more raw material.
Less “I” means that there is more Gold available for all… and thus, for “you.”
“Where is God, the Devil, the spirit, the body in all of this?”
🙂 Where you believe them to be. Embrace those labels.
But if you reject them, use that raw material, that lead… to obtain “pure” Gold…
“I” am that… which “you” only believe in
“Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything. You can begin making a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone that you encounter. I personally do this by making an effort to look upon my world as if I were observing it through lenses that filter out the form and all of the material aspects of what I am seeing, and can only view the spiritual energy that allows what I am noticing to exist. Try putting on these imaginary magical lenses and see how different everything appears…”
The paragraph above is an excerpt from an article in a magazine. The author is a well known “self-help” Guru, who wrote many “best sellers.”
Observe the assumptions. Observe the keywords used: Heaven, Spirit… and observe the “method:” To make a conscious effort to see something that he is not really seeing for the sake of conforming with his belief.
Observe the decision to make “spirit” as something more desirable than “matter” or our current perception.
That teaching has gone into mainstream. If Guru XYZ is perceived to be able to live in a realm of bliss and continuous delight, then that must be the “place” where “I” need to be. If Guru XYZ is seeing something that I don’t, let me “make an effort” to see the same, let me use my imagination and convince myself that this is the “real thing.”
The excerpt above has appeal to mainstream because it is able to give an easy “solution” for the perception of suffering = matter, mostly viewed and at the same time, it gently guides individuals into accepting a different perception of reality.
That acceptance comes automatically with the recognition of the “spiritual advancement” of the Guru writing the excerpt. “ He is a best seller author, he must be good and he must know what he is talking about!”
Heaven as Paradise is supposed to be a “place.” But that place does not exist without a new consciousness. People with new consciousness make that Heaven and not a place.
The belief of going to “heaven” without a change of consciousness is plain ego. There is no religion able to offer change of consciousness, but only change of behavior.
The “spirit” is consciousness. There are many individual spirits like individual human beings, but consciousness is One and for all, manifested according to our nature at a particular time. That consciousness is beyond the grasp of the “I” to change.
What the Guru wrote is not “bad” at all… It is not “wrong.” It is what his intellect was able to perceive. The issue is when followers call that the “truth” and would like to make their particular experiences to fit the Guru’s.
In my perception, I will honor what I perceive without trying to change it by playing mind games, knowing that my perception is not the “truth” but a perception, and that there are many other perceptions according to states of consciousness. The perception will change and the “I” will change as well.
What I find important is not the perception itself but our ability to enjoy that experience. Let me repeat that again. What is important is our ability to enjoy our perception, that experience while it lasts, for it will go away. That in itself brings openness to hear other perceptions, for we are not investing in a particular viewpoint.
The “I” changes as we allow for that change of perceptions. It is not about putting on “imaginary glasses” but we will see things under a different light when the rigid “I” opens up.
However the “I” is looking for “truth” for a piece of information to hold on to as that will give importance and support to the existence of that “I.”
“I have the truth.”
Let me give another example that I read in the same magazine by another Guru:
“In a Hindu text, a wise man is asked: ”Of all things in Life what is the most amazing?” He answers, “That a man seeing others die all around him, never thinks that he will die.” Taking time to reflect deeply on one’s own death with clarity, understanding and compassion, one can move out of denial, confusion and fear and focus on what is important: how to prepare for being present with the dying process, personally and with others. Reflection on death and impermanence is the portal to living a life of true meaning and happiness.”
Observe the words used, the assumptions, the “solutions.”
Does a man seeing that others are born all around him, ever wonder about his own birth?
Isn’t to die a process from the minute that we are born? Why separate dying and living if they go together?
What is the meaning of a “deep reflection” when in the “future,” we will be someone different?
The words “deep reflection” mean nothing, when there is observation of the changes in Life and openness, continuous acceptance, agreement with Life itself. Consciousness will be there even though “I” will die.
Learn to enjoy the experience of changes. It is all change, nothing could be destroyed… it just recycles.
How do I know that?
Because “I” am that, of course. Just like “you.” 🙂 Life itself.