Spirituality is a label, which could mean to live with joy and fullness at every moment. That is to be aware, conscious of the wonderful opportunity to be and to experience life as it is.
To appreciate being.
That appreciation is far away from beliefs, judgments and ideas.
When we experience an empty mind, we could observe without adding our “individual” baggage to it; that is usually to add our perception of suffering and biased ideas.
To be empty means to be “pure.” Untouched by information to direct our experiences in life.
The above may sound hard to accomplish. The above may seem “too much effort,” or “work to do.”
But it is not.
We are already that. We have been that, but as we live life, we add things to our empty nature to become a “someone” who separates himself from the Totality. That is the beginning of our perception of isolation, suffering and loneliness.
Therefore, learning to unlearn becomes that “gaining” spiritual knowledge.
It is not a matter of accumulating things, such as information from books, CDs, gurus and so forth, but there is just a realization that whatever “I” think that “I” know is a layer added of additional stuff which does not allow me to be light, to be closer to my empty nature.
For many, to gain “spiritual knowledge” means to gain information. To accumulate data in our brains, so we could “talk like an expert” in the field of “spirituality.” 🙂
Intellectually, we could think that we understand things, but practically there may not be EXPERIENCE of that which we talk about and because of that our “knowledge” becomes an obstacle, another belief…. For it defines how our experiences “should be;” that is because that “knowledge” defines the “right way.”
The paragraph above has some depth.
We could say “I am not the body.” I am a spirit, a soul or another label. I could proselytize my idea or dogma; but if I am experiencing a disease in the body and that disease does not allow me to operate in joy and fullness, then my “theory” that “I am not the body” is just another idea.
The thought of “gaining” Spiritual knowledge is just another ego trip.
Another way to feel better about “myself.” Another drug to be addicted to. Another belief to hold on to, to be dependent on.
When someone is “serious” 🙂 about enjoying life without dependencies, just by being; that individual will need to put the time to observe himself. That individual will need time alone and time with Nature, just to recover the innocence of being empty, void, nothing… Because by being nothing we could be everything, full, fulfilled; that is joyful. It is paradoxical!
“Time” is needed for our consciousness to fully awaken. But we choose how to use that time.
We could choose to add things to our personality as to affirm our own ego or we could choose to subtract what is already there until there is nothing.
To be nothing is to be everything.
Wisdom reflects emptiness.
Ananda was swimming in the Ocean. Ananda felt an immense feeling of love and wanted to embrace the Ocean. Ananda opened his arms and slowly closed them. There was no water to hug! Nothing!
Ananda understood that when he separated himself through a thought from the Ocean, he could not be close to it, merged in it. However, when Ananda wasn’t “there,” that is when he wasn’t conscious of being himself as an individual entity to separate things… Then, he was everything, including the ocean… but without “thinking about it.”
There was not “Ananda enjoying the Ocean” but there was only enjoyment.
Therefore, there is no love that could be “sent to the Ocean” when you are merged in it. There is only love.
There is no difference between the thought and the thinker… Although, we may think there is.
If we could truly go into this writing and nothing else, to really look at it for a little while; perhaps we could understand something to liberate ourselves from our own preconceptions, our own little beliefs, our conditioned dogmas and traditions, our own rituals and slaving thoughts.
There is “being and non-being.” What does that actually mean in BK knowledge or in any other spiritual knowledge?
There is duality. Every religion points to that in one way or another; using childish language or one for grown ups.
Being means what “is” then non-being will be “what is not.” They are not static “realities.” Those states change all the time. One will become the other. The problem is that we choose one state and reject the other. That is all. We call one state “holy” and the other “sinful.” One state cannot exist without the other.
There is day. It is 10 AM. Night is not there. That is being and non-being.
There is “soul consciousness,” because of that; there is “body consciousness.” Being and non-being.
Therefore, an eternal being, will experience non-being that. Maya. The Illusion.
In a nutshell, this is the depth of BK knowledge.
We could build upon this in many ways according to the motivation of the one who is relating this observation, this realization. I can make a religion out of this. A philosophy. A dogma. Followers are needed. Just believe. No need to understand.
When there is being and non-being; we could observe that changes come little by little. It is a gradual movement from one state into the other.
We could conveniently divide that change into 4 seasons. That is the cycle of time.
Just as Spring and Summer are related, so it is Winter and Fall. Not 4 but 2 seasons. Soul consciousness. Body consciousness. Yin and Yang.
It is the absence of heat and the presence of it; or the presence of cold and the absence of it. Being and non-being. Heat increases gradually. Cold increases gradually. Entropy.
Is heat different than cold? The gradual absence of one makes the other. They are not 2 but One.
To understand that concept deeply, so it is no longer just a concept; means to liberate ourselves from all other concepts.
Which other concepts? Omnipresent and individual God. Good and Evil. Pleasure and Pain. Anything that seems opposite. Anything that we have conveniently selected one side and rejected the other side. All of that is gone. Repressions are gone so to indulge in something is gone too. Virtues and Vices. No more dualistic concepts. See beyond. This is not for beginners.
In the gradual change of being and non-being; souls will appear in the scenario of the Drama of life. Every soul has a preordained role to play. That role will be played to help the Oneness of the Drama to change from being into non-being.
Actors of the Drama merely aid into this transformation by acknowledging a role running through them.
Therefore, an actor can believe that “he is doing things,” or he can realize that “he is an spectator of the role assigned to him.” Become a “I and mine,” or a “trustee.” Being or non-being.
Being and actor or Being an spectator. Being and non-being.
That consciousness reflects happiness or sorrow. Being and non-being. Being happy or not. Duality. Even though those states are related with a role, the soul; is beyond that duality.
Religions have created the rest of the story. Someone to worship. Someone to fear. Someone to obey. Someone to lie.
Punishment. Guilt. The sinner. Heaven and Hell.
It is just about where our consciousness is located. Being or non-being.
We are truly eternal beings not realizing our own eternity.
A wealthy man sleeping on the cold floor of conceptual fear.
That is our history.
Being and non-being.
I would like to thank one of the readers of this blog, “Seeker;” for sharing this fine scripture from Hindu philosophy which explains interconnectedness with the whole. In other words; the sense that all things are interconnected and not separate, while at the same time all things retain their individuality.
This is something that people lost in logic will not be able to understand.
Attached is the “Ashtavakra Gita.” https://explore7.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/ashtavakra-gita-ebook.pdf
This is not for everyone to understand, but only for those who are ready according to the Drama…in a “numberwise” way.
Now, for those who may think that “this is not BK gyan,” let me break the news that “BK Gyan” is Spiritual knowledge. The “Ashtavakra Gita” is Spiritual knowledge as well.
However, in our spiritual life; some are capable to add and subtract only. Others, can multiply and divide.
Yet others, can do Algebra and Trigonometry and few, can go into derivatives… Similarly will be our understanding.
To each its own.
Thank you for your very good question!
Discrimination and judgment appear to be contradictory of witness consciousness or being a “detached observer” but… they are not! Both of those “powers” are already included in witness consciousness in a more sophisticated way.
Let me elaborate and take the opportunity that your question brings to clarify some aspects from “my perspective.”
First, Spirituality is One. The division between BKgyan and non-BKgyan is artificial.
All souls will reach their most elevated stage. That is spirituality. That most elevated stage is not the same for everyone, that is; it is numberwise. Very important point to remember which only this knowledge has among any other spiritual knowledge.
The aim and objective of BK life is to go to the Golden age by fulfilling its “requisites.” Other souls do not have those requisites.
Do you think that Emperor Narayan will say in the Golden age: “Today I will use my power to tolerate.?” 🙂
Not a chance. The power to tolerate does not exist there. Neither the power to judge nor to discern.
Therefore, in a way the aim of having knowledge of those powers is to forget about them by being them. As we become more soul conscious through the experience of the soul, we will not need to be aware of any sort of “powers.” Those are mental constructs. Mental ideas for body conscious individuals to know something mentally for otherwise they wouldn’t have a clue on how to act spiritually.
For instance: A little girl hits a little boy. The little boy will hit that girl in return.
A moralizing parent will come and say to the little boy: ” Boys never hit a girl.” Then a concept has been “invented.” Let us call that Chivalry. Let us think the highest about it. Let us worship it. After a few days, that same girl hits the same boy. The boy will not do anything this time.
What is the boy doing? Tolerating. Even though the label he learned is called Chivalry, the boy is tolerating. Moreover, when that boy learns about religion, that boy will learn that to tolerate is “good,” so he ought to “practice it.”
See how the label appeared? The issue is that the boy gave pain in exchange of pain. Because that boy does not have the capacity to understand about the law of karma, and he hasn’t experienced soul consciousness nor mercy nor he has learned polite ways to respond with kindness; that boy needs something easy to understand. That in essence is the power to tolerate.
Isn’t that funny that something as the “power to cooperate” exists? I thought that to cooperate is “natural” and “normal.” Apparently, it is not for some human beings. They still need to be told to “cooperate.”
What about discrimination and judgment?
It is simply to learn to listen to your heart at the spiritual level.
That is it. Be honest and learn to listen to your heart. Without knowing how to “listen” without using the filter of our own vices; then we will need something else to keep us “safe.” That is, we need commandments, scriptures, steps to follow. That is usually what is known as “discrimination,” and “judgment.” We basically use our mental abilities, our thoughts to discriminate based on a written law.
The law says: Be celibate. Don’t indulge in sex lust. Therefore, anything that will lead us into that is “bad.” That is, we are discriminating, judging, etc. That is, we are saving ourselves from “sin.” (another keyword.)
On the other hand, once there is the inner understanding of how sex lust works and how duality works and at the same time, we are in tune with that inner self through higher feelings from the heart; we do not need those “moralizing” codes anymore. You could be near “temptations” but you will not give into them, for there is nothing tempting you. Nothing tempting you… 🙂 Either because that is not a temptation anymore or better yet, because there is no “you” to be tempted… 🙂 See?
As you can see, we started our journey with a need to recognize a power and then we finished without needing that power anymore.
That is when “witness consciousnesses” comes for at that point, we are beyond duality even though we understand it. When we are beyond duality, we do not need any of the 8 powers anymore.
When we are dealing with recognizing the 8 powers, we are going to a necessary step in Spiritual awareness, that is to understand the right behavior. However, we get stuck in following the behavior without knowing what was the reason for it.
What is the definition of the virtue called love?
Let me make a list of “virtues” and memorize their definitions so I can “practice” them.
At this level I am still using my mental abilities: “I should act this way or that way if I want to be loving based on my definition of love.” All thoughts, no heart; no feelings, no inner recognition but all is mental stuff, dead words.
I cannot know love that way. It is impossible.
But I will be happy on following my definition.
Dear soul, There are different levels of understanding spirituality. That understanding is not mental/intellectual but experiential.
To tolerate is good, but to love is better.
To cooperate is good but to be part of the solution is better.
To discriminate and judge is good but to learn to follow your heart is better.
The former (powers) will keep you safe from making costly mistakes, but the later (love, solutions, follow the heart) will allow you to fly. Addition comes first, before multiplication.
This avyakt Murli has interesting points to ponder.
For me, it was about being aware of the channels of spiritual understanding. For me it was about the understanding of the chakra system and the way we understand and express according to our spiritual experience. How is that?
Most spiritual knowledge begins at the third chakra, which means “will power.” When we express the self through our activities and understanding through this chakra, we will use words such as: “we must,” “we should,” “ it has to,” etc. This is a “lawful” understanding. We think we have a clear difference between what is right and what is wrong. We become “black or white.”
In this understanding, it is easy to deny everything else which “interferes” with our task or perceived duty.
This is the beginning of spirituality in the BK system. It is good, but at one point; we will be shown a different view.
BapDada’s Avyakt Murli, felt that way to me. However, unless there is experience, we will be stuck in the “third chakra” and we will not move on into a higher one, the “heart.” The “heart” has its own understanding.
BapDada’s avyakt Murli, went into 3 considerations to make “real improvement” in BK life.
1) Belong to the Father and no one else. Not even think about anyone or anything.
2) Become a master; that is become aware that the physical realm creates a dependency unless we keep the awareness of the master, we will become “slaves” of it. The body is part of that “creation” for we are souls.
3) Remaining a trustee. That is the sense that “nothing belong to us, but we belong to the Father.”
If we merely go by the words, we will end up “doing” the following: 1) Thinking that we are keeping a connection with God if we separate ourselves from anyone that could be “Maya” to us. Making sure that we do not “belong” to someone. 2) Thinking that being soul conscious means to deny the body and to “go beyond it.” 3) Giving away everything the role has as possessions, even not doing household shores because that is time being “wasted.”
This is the typical “understanding” of most BKs who have not experienced the soul in a deeper level.
The advice that Baba is giving us is great to keep us out of trouble, but we need to remember that knowledge is not “a literal” interpretation for BapDada will come the next day, and explain other points that will talk about the opposite and that could contradict the former. That is why we learn through experience to “balance” both “opposite sides.”
For me everything is in the experience of the soul. When I experience the soul, I am close to God. There is no separation, because I am experiencing that, thoughts are gone (then I don’t think in people) because this experience is fulfilling, we do not depend on others to feel “alive.” However, we can experience relationships and maintain that “self-respect” which is not related with neediness and the sense of “possession” of others. The issue is not “not to have loving relationships with others.” The issue is that we do not know what is love, because we have not experienced it, because we have not explored the self.
The awareness of the soul, will give us that “disinterest,” according to Baba’s vocabulary; which is not “real disinterest” but it is that something is no longer attractive. This happens naturally.
When we are expressing and understanding at the “third chakra level,” we will “act” with disinterest, which eventually will be observed as “fanaticism,” because our actions will not be through understanding (thoughts, words and actions aligned) but our words will say “do disinterest,” our thoughts will say “this is hard to do,” and our actions will express “ I do not understand.” That is why it becomes important to express through the “heart” chakra as a true beginning for spiritual endeavors.
Similarly, we can do all the household tasks, as long as we are in the consciousness of a “karma yogi.”
Everything resides in our consciousness, but we are concerned only in our external activities. However, our thoughts are in conflict when there is no experience of the soul.
A sense of “belonging” is good. It is fundamental, but we are souls. That is our main sense of belonging. We belong to Baba, because He is a soul, incorporeal. In that experience there is no separation. The actions are part of our “roles,” and we act for the “sake of it.”
All the knowledge is about soul consciousness. In that experience, there is a different understanding.
BapDada will express the same “soul consciousness” in different ways in every Murli.
Thank you for your challenging question!
The easy part is the explanation. The hard part, the experience.
“Rup and Basant” as we know; it means to be “an embodiment of yoga who showers knowledge.”
I liked the little explanation coming from this website:
“in Indian mythology: two brothers on whose lips only jewels and flowers appeared. Spiritual sense: by imbibing spiritual knowledge and practicing Raj Yoga, a soul becomes rup and basant. By its form it attracts other souls to God and by giving them knowledge brings spring in their lives (“rup” – form, “basant” – spring).”
Now, here is the “experience:” 🙂
Rup is love
Basant in nectar
words are divine
dharna is the sign
Nectar spills from the heart
arriving as jewels to your lip
when we get rid of the script
allowing love to be your art
The spring of love in the form of nectar
showers the rain of knowledge at dawn
through the flying beauty
of a BK swan.