To get a feel of Life, we may come to arrive to 2 different perspectives which paradoxically will take us to the same place.
We are nothing.
We are Everything.
That is it. That is why, I have written in a past article, that nothing is equal to everything.
If the above cannot be understood or the selection of words were not proper, the Hua Hu Ching, mentions 2 paths:
The path of acceptance
The path of denial.
Thus, in Life acceptance equals denial.
The mind probably is confused. The above does not make sense. Acceptance cannot be equal to denial. They are opposites. Correct?
So an explanation is needed: Affirm everything and everyone. Embrace all things. Extend your goodwill to every direction regardless of circumstances. That is acceptance.
Tantra. That is acceptance of everything including your sexuality.
Another name? Taoism, openness, surrendering.
And the other path?
Everything that we perceive and think is an illusion, supported by our limited senses and limited understanding. Peel all the veils to arrive at the oneness of all.
Yoga. That is denial of everything to be one, to be in union, to merge, to be nothing. Another name? Buddhism, Zen.
Our society is between those paths of self-realization.
We are taught to be someone, to become someone.
We are taught to support one side of a duality and to reject the other. Choose acceptance or choose denial not both.
What is “good”? What society teaches you to be good.
What is “evil”? what society teaches you to be evil. Yet, good and evil come always together. Our rejection of one side of a duality, must be experienced sooner or later.
Have you seen that in every issue there are at least 2 sides? Right and Wrong.
Morality has an imaginary line, that keeps moving every time to protect the “right ones” and to condemn the “wrong ones.”
Another name for this path? Insanity.
Most traditional religions embrace that.
Bring a God. Reject the Devil. Both cannot live without each other. You choose one. You are someone.
Support what is “right.” Reject what is “wrong.” Fight with “someone.” You are “someone.” Another name for “Someone”? Ego.
When you are someone, you cannot be Everything.
When you are someone, to be Nothing is something to reject to be afraid of… but yet to be nothing is the way to be everything, and when “you” are everything… “you” cannot cease to BE, although, “you” are not … 🙂
Living life is about experiencing life to gain valuable insight, thus any path that someone takes to search for answers about their own life will eventually lead that person to realize the self. It all goes back to the self, but that needs to be realized and not conceptualized.
It all depends on our state of consciousness. That consciousness is not modified by “following teachings,” but by gaining insight.
In this way, there is no repression in the self.
We could do something out of compulsion. That is not honest. We could behave in ways that we truly do not feel.
Heckle and Jeckle went to a “spiritual/meditation” class.
Jeckle wanted to help himself to gain “peace of mind” as he was going through “problems” in life. Jeckle started his search for meaning at that point. Before that “problem,” Jeckle had no desire to listen to anything “spiritual” as that was “boring stuff” for him. 🙂
Heckle on the other hand, was very experienced. He had experienced different religious groups, spiritual groups, self-help groups, new age groups, metaphysical groups, psychic groups, etc. Read many things, realized others and so on. In every experience Heckle gained valuable insight to continue in his personal path.
Jeckle was listening attentively to the teacher in that “spiritual” class. The teacher was wearing a particular robe which gave him an air of importance.
The teacher spoke about the mind in that class.
“What is the mind? What is its origin? What is its function?” He went on to explain his beliefs as if they were “facts.” Those beliefs were backed up by a book that he was reading to the audience. The book was written by his masters.
“The mind leaves the body. So if you are sleeping and then you think about India and then you die during your sleep… Guess where you are going to live in your next life?”
The teacher went on: “ Life is not just this experience that we have here, but there will be plenty of other lives in the future and the time to be engaged in making those future lives happy, is now; through pure spiritual practices. All problems are just thoughts created by the mind. A feeling of love for someone is just another thought.”
The teacher finished his class with a meditation in which he repeated the same concepts for the audience to repeat in their minds and thus, “realize” those concepts for “themselves.” 🙂
Heckle observed that what this teacher called the “mind,” that was called the “soul” in other religious views. He also realized that this teacher was giving importance to the future rather than the “now” and that this teacher wasn’t aware of feelings but only about emotions.
Finally, Heckle concluded that the teacher’s set of beliefs and concepts were not useful for him.
What is the purpose of having a concept about the mind or to play with concepts or beliefs about its origin and function, if Heckle had an experience of it…of what this “thing” is without further labels?
That first hand experience is what is useful to realize the self as an experience, not to have a concept about it or theoretical knowledge.
Heckle was waiting anxiously for the teacher to end his talk, to ask questions and to debunk that “teacher” who was talking “useless stuff” from his viewpoint.
After all Heckle was in favor of the “truth” and not in beliefs and stories based on “hand-me down” teachings. 🙂
When the teacher finished his talk, he asked everyone to speak with their seating neighbor about their own realizations in the class.
Heckle heard Jeckle’s viewpoint first.
Jeckle said: “Wasn’t that a great explanation about the mind? I never thought that the mind was so important. I ought to watch my mind from now on…”
When Heckle heard that from his friend; Heckle did not have the courage to debunk the teacher.
Heckle learned through that experience that life teaches everyone in different ways. From that moment, Heckle learned the importance to respect everyone’s path.
When we hear about “Tolerance” of faiths, that is just a concept. We could learn to tolerate someone who thinks and feel different from us, without ever listening to what that person is conveying.
That is “conceptual tolerance” that stuff we can learn from a nice book or a “teacher.”
However, when we experience the need to respect someone’s path in his search for meaning in life, then at that moment; tolerance becomes an unnecessary word. 🙂
Jeckle learned about his mind.
Heckle learned from that teacher something about himself which was very important in his self-realization.
Thus, everyone learned something new.
Jeckle is just beginning his journey for meaning in life. Jeckle is acquiring information to feed his mind with “new things” to think about.
Heckle has already gone through that and now Heckle is learning to free himself from that information and letting life itself be the teacher. Heckle is learning to trust and not to think too much.
Different paths. All going to the same place but with different timings.
The flowers in a garden will blossom at different times. The gardener’s job is to respect their personal timing.
Once someone has made the decision to become “spiritual,” that is a self signed contract to observe the self.
You will be the witness of yourself.
That is because we are trying to “make sense of it,” conceptualize. It is just a matter of “doing it.” We will be able to do it, when we become aware and remember. That is, when it is important to us.
When we observe we basically could “reject” everything that comes in our way as “illusion” or we can accept everything coming in our way without further judgment and without identifying with it. Those names are meant to label those paths, but they do not offer rejection or acceptance to life. Those are just labels to get to my point.
Please be aware of the above, for as far as I know; all religions and spiritual paths will follow either one of those paths. Very few, both. 🙂
The issue is that religions and philosophies feel that “their path” is the “true” path. Ignoring that there is a need of “different strokes for different folks.” Numberwise is the keyword.
Either path will take you to the same place, that is a greater awareness of the inner world in relationship.
How that works?
In the path of “rejection,” we are aware that everything that I sense, that I think, that I believe is an illusion. Whatever is going on in my head an heart are illusions. This realization could be backed up with intellectual knowledge or a simple strong belief, the point is to see “illusion” in “my” perceptions rather than the “holy truth.” 🙂
Then the question of what is real? Will arise. At that point we know that thinking is not, feeling is not but still there is something or someone “there.” The depth of this realization and self-discovery will bring greater awareness in the individual.
In the path of “acceptance,” we take everything in, we let it be. However, we do not identify with anything. I am not labeling things as “illusions,” there is a perception of things, but my mind and heart do not hold on into anything. We become open doors. Everything goes through it. That is self-less.
Let me give an example to explain this.
Let us say that we are listening to this song: “He is the greatest dancer” by Sister Sledge.. [oh my… a spiritual sister! ;-)]
In a “normal” individual, her emotions will be stirred up when listening to the tune. Fantasizing will be unavoidable. At the same time, the message of the song will be “subliminally” incorporated into the psyche of this unaware person: “He is a good dancer, He wears designer clothing, He is good-looking, He does not leave the disco alone…” For a female that could be translated into “my type of guy,” for a male; “the type I want to be.”
Now let us see some other “reactions” from the public:
1. For a “religious God fearing person,” this song is sinful. There is no question about listening to it. That song brings “bad moral standards.” You must never listen to such song. As a matter of fact, just to be on the safe side, you must never listen to any songs from the 70’s. 😦 and if you do not listen to any songs at all, then you will maintain your ears holy and clear…This works good at the beginning, but closing doors to the world means rejecting the world for what it “is” and that will definitely bring karmic accounts…
2. For a person who does not know English, that song has a lively beat, it helps to create a fun environment. It is about having a good time, so no moral decisions have to be made.
3. For a person who is observing the self, if he lets everything in; then he will not “process” anything. His mind will be like an empty glass. He could dance, he could enjoy the tune but once it is over, it is over.
For a person who “rejects” everything, he will know that he is enjoying an illusion and because of that, once it is over; it will be over as well.
Here may lie one of the greatest misunderstandings of those “following” the path of rejection. Most adherents feel that it is about “not doing.” – I will not listen to such a song, I will not dance such a song… as a matter of fact to have a “good time” is “bad,” for we are “wasting time.”
There is no “waste of time” when the wholesomeness of the individual’s life is at stake.
and the 1 million dollar question arises… Is that song “good or bad” Is it “holy or sinful”?
As we can see, it depends on the consciousness of the individual. This is an important rule of thumb to remember in the Spiritual path.
Please note that in both paths, the important item is to live the moment. Enjoy it. Then if the mind is being pulled to those things continuously, there is certainly attachment, there is emptiness which needs to be fulfilled somehow. There is identification. This is the path of the “normal” individual.
Once there is observation, then we could realize all of this in ourselves and filter things when we are aware or when we have reached some mastery of the mind, then nothing will bother us; either because it goes right through us or because we know about its illusory nature, or because we are aware and “filtering” and we realize that someone who selects a partner just because he is good-looking, a good dancer and wearing designer clothes may need some “growing up” to do and hopefully that will not happen in the company of a cute baby on her side…
A 5-year-old dances a song. That 5-year-old is not concerned about buying the song afterwards or remembering the tune of the song. Because he has innocence, he is not concerned about designer clothing although he may wear it. He is not concerned about having a pretty face because he is not-self aware yet. Because his mind is empty, he does not have those prejudices yet, which we grown ups are easy prey to pick up.
Therefore, the task of someone in the spiritual path is to liberate his mind and to clean it up with soap and bleach so it becomes innocent again. Like the one of a 5-year-old. 🙂