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! 🙂
To believe that “I am” something is an ego trip: A soul, peace, happiness, bliss, and knowledge… All of that merely supports an identity.
Likewise, is to “possess” something. “Having” supports the existence of that one who is someone.
For example: “He is my kid.” There is a possession, which is only a thought, but that thought gives life to the one who possesses.
If we become aware of thoughts and thinking, thoughts appear in our awareness and then we identify with them calling them, “my thoughts.”
First, it is important to observe that there is no “I” creating a thought. The “I” is an illusion based on separation. Thoughts are clouds in the sky supporting that separation. Thoughts solidify through language, which is meant to separate.
For a seeker, the question may not be: “Where do clouds come from?” for that intellectual answer will take someone nowhere but to support the “knowing” of the mind.
We could go into the water cycle and explain that clouds are vaporized water. So what? The issue is that clouds are passing by and there is identification with them, which causes the duality of elation and suffering.
Am “I” identifying with a particular cloud and calling that cloud “mine”? Clouds will move away. Thoughts do the same thing, when left alone; unless we apply the morality of rejection.
“That is a bad thought.” “ I have a sinful mind.” That is the fuel for that thought to come back again, stronger.
When someone identifies with a thought, then action, DOING appears.
Human morality deals with DOING but it is completely unaware of the root, BEING.
It is not a matter of “I need to focus more on BEING rather than DOING.”
For there is an ego behind that statement:
“Why do I want to focus more on BEING rather than DOING?”
To achieve something, to become better, saintly, illuminated, etc.
That is ego.
That brings a “rule” of thumb: Whenever there is an ulterior motive other than just experiencing the experience for what is, then there is ego.
That is why, it is said that Life is a “game.” For typically children engage in playing games for the sake of it. There is no morality involved such as: “Don’t waste your time playing games, achieve something worthwhile.”
Playing is important in itself. As ego takes over, then we add some meaning to playing such as “winning.”
Who is winning?
“I.” That should be the “right” winner.
What is the “purpose” of winning?
The ego believes that to win, enhances himself. That belief is part of a conditioned mind; learned through living in a competitive society. That competitiveness brings further separation, further ego, for the “other” becomes our enemy, our “competitor.” That mentality is extended into a philosophy to run our society, which is called Economics and also through a Religion, which is called “going to heaven.” There, the competitor is still the “other” but with a different label: Devil, Maya, Temptation, etc.
The “I” is infested with that mentality. As the “I” learns to purge (becoming aware of the conditioning) so many things from the storage of his mind, then the possibility of experiencing “No-I” may appear.
DOING a special practice to reach God or Heaven is ego. The practice of any “Sadhana” is a method to increase ego. Why?
Because there is a purpose behind that Sadhana.
Paradoxically, a Sadhana is a method to overcome ego.
By increasing ego to its limits, to the point where it needs to explode.
Then, that will be known as “surrendering.”
In every “spiritual” gathering, the main topic talked about to “evolve” into a “higher” consciousness is related with dissolving ego.
Why does ego develop?
Because we live in a society. A society has rules, laws, traditions, beliefs, taboos, hang ups… all of those are inherited by the members of that society.
When a child is born his ego is minimal. Even though he may bring a baggage from another existence, he needs the “right” environment to develop ego, just as a seed needs the right conditions to flourish.
In a society we have comfort, certain security, some assurance. Those traits are enough to numb an individual from being connected with “reality,” Nature, Life.
Therefore, it has been observed by many “saints” and “illuminated” ones the need to leave a society. Basically that means to be alone.
When alone, many of the things that we take for granted do not have any meaning anymore.
Am I a man or a woman?
That could be answered only in comparison with others. Am I rich or poor? Same thing. Am I beautiful or ugly? It does not matter anymore.
That “going away from society” is how we live through experience most of the teachings of religions. For example: You may repeat many times – “I am a soul.” Thus, I am not rich ugly man or a woman. However, that is merely a mental paradigm. An idea which may need to be “practiced.” There is no way to realize “I am a soul” unless that happens to you, which does not depend on your DOING.
When you are alone, there is no need practice anything.
Gautama Buddha, left society when his child was born. He was a wondering man, like an animal. So did Mahavira and even Jesus. They had their time away from society just to discover their “reality” away from all the things that our society has given us.
Can you live without TV? Can you live without reading a book? Can you live without the internet?
Those are artificial gifts from society. Those things will shape up our personality, our ego. However, those things are not “bad,” although they could create a dependency in many. Those “progress” of society are truly an opportunity to discover our hidden addictive, needy personality. Enjoyment of those things reside in freeing ourselves from our attachments.
Discovering our “truth” will happen when we are away from those things, which we take for granted.
When a person lives in a “black or white” consciousness, their awareness of being inauthentic due to a surrounding society, will move them into a reactionary movement:
“This society is bad, filthy. We need to create a new society.”
That is how many religions have started, many “ashrams,” many “collective gatherings.”
Their belief is that they have the “right” laws, commandments, etc. for they had realized “evil.”
Thus, they create a new society with many opposite values of the previous one, but the structure of the new “creation” comes out of the same frame of mind. “Black or White.” Thus this “new” society will be same as the rejected one.
The same hierarchy with different labels. The same consciousness underneath the word “change.”
Although being in Nature and away from the “technological advanced” society is the most spontaneous way to discover our own truth; that is no longer necessary or practical.
All we need to be aware of, is the work of our own mind. After all, the mind is the open door, getting all the “goodies” from our society.
How to become aware of something, which we believe to be us?
Be away from the crowd. The mind is used to the noise, words, background sounds which bring a sense of company, that is why silence becomes important.
Physical silence is the first step to observe the mind.
Slowing down our DOINGs, our tasks, our “busy” schedule, is the second step.
Slowing down our breathing through conscious movement, may be the third step.
At that point, we may be able to recognize that we are not the mind, that we are not a personality, or a belief system.
Then the mind slows down. The clouds of thoughts will not pass by so quickly. That is ill labeled as “silence of the mind, “ which will bring inner peace. It is actually “no-mind.”
In other words, when we become empty, we are full.
Having tasted that, we could go back to the comfort of a society. We could play the game and “retire” when necessary.
We could enjoy the game of being “busy,” while knowing that it is just a game.
Stress is over unless we “think” about it. 🙂
Is the above too hard to DO?
There is no DOING involved. It is awareness.
Something easier? 🙂
Surrender your ego through love.
Some religions will present God to be the “beloved.” That is only sentimental stuff. It is not that. There is no “beloved” when YOU are not there.
Love is the death of that which we call “I.” 🙂
In this final contrast of BK gyan with Mr. Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy; he gives a pretty good explanation based on his experience on surrendering to life through suffering, and he gives us another way as well, through relinquishing attachment to the psychological past and future. In my own experience I have applied some of his experiences. However, i do not view suffering as “resistance” but rather as a “cleansing” agent. Note that his knowledge of God is uncertain.
THE WAY OF THE CROSS
There are many accounts of people who say they have found God through their deep suffering,
and there is the Christian expression “the way of the cross,” which I suppose points to the same
thing. We are concerned with nothing else here.
Strictly speaking, they did not find God through their suffering, because suffering
implies resistance. They found God through surrender, through total acceptance of what is,
into which they were forced by their intense suffering. They must have realized on some
level that their pain was self-created.
How do you equate surrender with finding God?
Since resistance is inseparable from the mind, relinquishment of resistance – surrender – is
the end of the mind as your master, the impostor pretending to be “you,” the false god. All
judgment and all negativity dissolve. The realm of Being, which had been obscured by the
mind, then opens up. Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you, an unfathomable sense of
peace. And within that peace, there is great joy. And within that joy, there is love. And at the
innermost core, there is the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.
What Mr. Tolle describes is the journey of a BK soul into acceptance of what it is rather than conforming to an image, idea or thought of what should be or we desire. As he rightly points out; it is not suffering in itself what brings that state of acceptance but rather our inability to pursue what we desire. We give up to life. We surrender to life. A similar journey could be found in this very well-articulated article by another BK here: http://bebebutler.com/2012/08/23/the-healing-power-of-art-journaling/
It is the journey of letting yourself “be” without losing the “aim and objective,” to heal the wounds of the “hero actor,” sacrificing his/her life for that which he/she believes in. It is the beginning of a new self, the story of the “phoenix bird,” reborn again out of his/her own ashes. In Baba’s language: “Dying alive.”
The description of Mr. Tolle about finding something else besides “love and joy,” is basically the experience of the soul.
I don’t call it finding God, because how can you find that which was never lost, the very
life that you are? The word God is limiting not only because of thousands of years of
misperception and misuse, but also because it implies an entity other than you. God is Being
itself, not a being. There can be no subject-object relationship here, no duality, no you and
God. God-realization is the most natural thing there is. The amazing and incomprehensible
fact is not that you can become conscious of God but that you are not conscious of God.
Mr. Tolle mentions the same statement of some Gurus and “spiritual Ph.Ds,” that is a somehow unclear vision of God. He mentions: “God is being itself, not a being.” Therefore, God is everything existing whether those things have awareness of their existence or not and for that reason there is no duality of ‘you and God.’ God is existence. Being.
The question is: What is what Mr.Tolle found as “the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.”? If that is not God, isn’t that contradicting his statement as God as simply “being”? Isn’t he “being” at his core?
God is not a label. It is an experience of something which does not “become.” If I say that “I am God and so are you,” because we are “beings” and God is “being,” then who is the one who becomes?
Mt. Tolle wasn’t an enlightened soul before. He suffered from depression. All of the sudden something happened to him, and he “became enlightened.” God is not becoming. God is constant and anything in this world that we know of as “being” is continuously becoming something. That is one important premise to understand about God as a being.
Mr. Tolle also mentions that it shouldn’t be a duality between “you and me,” as God being a different entity.
That is true in my assessment. http://bkgyan.com/2012/07/09/the-illusion-of-individuality/ And that can only be experienced when we have experienced our soul nature, because in the realm of souls, there is no separation, no labels between “you and me;” no individuality. Therefore God could be a soul and “I” (that indescribable experience as he mentions) could be another soul. We are souls having a physical experience. (http://bkgyan.com/2012/06/08/point-in-depth-is-god-soul-conscious/)
Therefore, I do not see any conflicts in “being separate” as there is a God and I am not God; for in our physical consciousness we could see this separation but never in our spiritual nature (soul.) One more item: Psychological time separates. That separation creates Ego. (therefore, Mr. Tolle’s assertion about the power of “now”) because there is ego, we suffer. That perception is erased in our “original nature.”
Mr. Tolle: Enlightenment through suffering – the way of the cross – means to be forced into the
kingdom of heaven kicking and screaming. You finally surrender because you can’t stand the
pain anymore, but the pain could go on for a long time until this happens. Enlightenment
consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the
Now the main focus of your life. It means choosing to dwell in the state of presence rather
than in time. It means saying yes to what is. You then don’t need pain anymore. How much
more time do you think you will need before you are able to say “I will create no more pain,
no more suffering?” How much more pain do you need before you can make that choice?
If you think that you need more time, you will get more time – and more pain.
The so called “enlightment” or “inner awareness,” is a word with many meanings. Mr. Tolle’s description as “relinquishing attachment to past and future,” sounds like another recipe without ingredients to cook with it. There are some people who have attained some insights through a “something.” In Mr. Tolle’s case, could have happened as an “instant” of sheer awareness. For others, it is a life process. Why is that?
Here is when knowing Gyan comes in handy. If you are a “newer” soul (few births in the cycle or time) it is very likely to be able to tune in to this realm after brief periods of suffering. Less baggage = less karmic accounts. On the other hand, if you are an “older” soul like a BK soul, you have gone through a lot. It is not as easy to “relinquish things,” when that has been the way we have behaved for so many lives. Therefore, the BK way, the “Godly way,” is through the experience of suffering until we “give up.” Until we “surrender.” The way of the cross, if you would. (Unless we use the power of yoga…)
Instant enlightment vs. delayed enlightenment is a topic which was explored by Osho in one of his writings; different paths which will take us to the same goal; however; BK gyan adds the knowledge of “numberwise” in it, which allow us to see that our capacity to withstand duality will allow us to follow the “method.”