Learning from the shoe box of experiences
In the “office world,” we learn through books, classes, second hand “authoritative” teachings… We believe that those “teachings” are true. We label them as “truth” and want for others to follow them to support our desire to be “right” in Life. We presume that we have the “right answer,” we make our “morality” on those assumptions. We may believe that “God is with us,” and that we are part of his “chosen people,” ready for Paradise and everlasting Life …
Those “teachings” for whatever holy they may be, cannot match the uncertainties and ever changing possibilities in Life. What is “real” cannot be relegated into a shoe box full of code of conduct, commandments and laws.
Have we observed that in Nature? Have we observed that in Life?
In Nature/Life, morality does not exist. In the “office world” it exists as a façade for an ulterior purpose: Whether that is to gain heaven, to support our belief to be “special” or “rightful” among the rest or some other “reason.”
In Nature/Life, questions do not exist. Humans prisoners of their own minds, have twisted good old curiosity into the frenzy of asking “why?” out of everything, as if an intellectual verbal answer is enough.
Curiosity does not ask “why.” Curiosity observes with appreciation the uniqueness of Life. It is through that acknowledgement how everything is answered without asking a single question; for every answer comes at the right time. It is the knowing of learning through our own experiences.
Humans have coined the phrase: “Learn from your own mistakes.” That is insane.
When we separate our experiences in Life between “mistakes” and what is “right,” we forsake the opportunity to live fully in Life in exchange of some comfortable fear, designed to live within the boundaries of the shoe box offered by our society through our conditioned mind.
That is how we come up with the popular “Do’s and Don’ts.” We preserve those by enforcing them into the younger generations, effectively narrowing down the shoe box for others. At the end, it is about preserving what we discovered to be “right or wrong,” that is how the “I” of many dead people from many centuries ago, still live among us. We call that “traditions.”
Learn from your experiences. That learning only applies to your own path. However, what is to share to all, is to BE the type of person that is ever curious to discover Life, beyond the shoe box.
That type of invaluable teaching cannot be put into words or a “master class.” That “teaching” spreads through the winds of warm human relationships.
Nothing to teach, nothing to say. Just BE.
Those winds of relationship, have the potential of turning into Hurricanes and positively affecting many, without a business plan, special funding or a proselytizing effort.
What is natural is “good.” What is “good” is what IS.
Nothing to teach
I used to gather every weekend with a group of “seekers.” We were just like friends, sharing different things about “spirituality.” Few liked Ahnanda’s insight. Others did not. Some even despised it. Nothing new! It was another opportunity to argue, to prove who was “right” and who was “wrong.” Ego driven “spirituality.”
Ahnanda is just like them… another view point. There is no way they could ever know/believe that Ahnanda is going through a process of self-realization. Is that something making me “special”? My experience is my experience. It is not the “only truth.” It is not the “only path.” There is no such a thing as “the true path.” That much, I know. Perhaps that is enough. 🙂
Ahnanda does not perform miracles. He does not perform any healing or fortune telling. He does not have promises of salvation. He is not being endorsed by influential people. He is a nobody, where to be “somebody” is important.
Typically, things that he expresses will get distorted: “what you mean is this, right?” and after a few minutes those “important” things, will get completely forgotten… 🙂
Benefit for a seeker is encountered when they can IDENTIFY with what is being shared through their own experience. Otherwise, it does not make any sense. That is why there are so many “teachings” for so many types of consciousness. The ones geared for the collective consciousness are the “best seller” material, the “democratic truth;” the ones who are not, are for fewer. At the end, No teachings here but only recognition of an experience through the words of another. That is how a “follower” is born.
“Spiritual gurus” (whether self-realized or not) emphasize the need of their disciples to blindly follow what they “teach” so the disciples in time, could get the “vibe” and that will become part of them. A disciple with an argumentative mind, will not fit this set up. That is the theory.
However, I can now see that if there is no love from the disciple, there will not be openness to listen beyond words, to assimilate beyond dogmas and to mesh like a sponge does with water.
That sort of love is not necessarily romantic. That path is meant for those who have the capacity to open up and be as accepting as water.
In that sort of relationship, there are no teachings. It is a oneness. How could you teach yourself? This is not book learning, this is assimilation of Life experiences together.
Ahnanda only shares his experiences. AWARENESS is the big “keyword” here, but it is not just a word. The meaning is beyond the word. Love and trust to Life, are closely hidden behind awareness.
In my experience, the true measure of a man is found when you have too much free time on your hands: You could be unemployed, you could be bedridden through sickness or old age, you could be in jail or any other situation with lots of time in your hands. Most individuals will destroy themselves. Others will try to get busy and lost into “achievements” by making themselves into “something” in Life. Very few, will enjoy their own company and allow Life to open them up until there is nothing to call “I” but for namesake only.
There is nothing to teach, for you ARE and others could only recognize that, if it is meant to be. You ARE “something” but that is not to “be something in Life” as society teaches. That “something” that you ARE through self-realization, is very close to “nothing” and for that, even closer to “everything.” Of course, Love is everything.
Does it make sense?
No “best seller” material. 🙂
Awareness cannot be taught
Carmen is a new parent. She said to me: “No one is teaching me how to be a parent… this information should be pushed into the school system and beyond.”
Even though she has “good intentions” behind her statement; observe that she is already caught up with the system: The information on how to be a parent is pushed from another source, to be “right.”
Carmen was praising all the books that she read which “helped her” practically.
Carmen read a book about “a prosperous attitude towards money, so money could flow in life, by getting rid of different beliefs that she was inculcated when she was a kid,” However, my friend could not use that information into her parenting situation.
Carmen lacked Life experience. She has theory in her mind, a very good paragraph of “wisdom,” but she is unable to apply it in different aspects of her Life.
Most human beings have developed many traumas when children. Parents did the best they knew; but that wasn’t enough. Hang ups, taboos, beliefs and so on were transmitted from their parents. Therefore, that is what will be transmitted to their kids. It is unconscious. Why? Because we are not aware.
Many times a child will be rebellious towards his parents. He will not go along with their “ideas,” unfortunately; that child does not realize that to reject his parent’s ideas will only make that trauma stronger. There is no experience of that, no awareness.
Then the “traditional good idea” comes. “If I knew how to be a parent, I will help others to do the same.”
That is very shallow. This is not just information that we pass along like in the “office world” when we get ready to take a test to be a “certified” parent.
Your awareness is needed. If you are aware of the baggage inside you, you will start with you. Look at your issues. Then, your “true self” will be displayed for your kids; not the behavior which you learned in a book, which is not truly you. Just because you know information, it doesn’t mean that you ARE that.
I am not saying that we should wait until we solve our internal issues to become a parent either. This is not a “black or white” “solution.” Just be aware that as you ARE, you will be matched by Life with a partner and that is what is “right” for you. That experience will teach you something, and then your consciousness will move on until… you are able to see yourself as you ARE: Then the process of dissolution of ego starts.
“But how do I help others?”
By allowing them to go through their own process in Life. That is free of judgments.
Let me be clear: The thought of helping others or teaching others, is just self-gratification. Life puts the teacher when the student is ready; BUT neither the teacher nor the student know about those labels, so they are free from the cage that those labels imply. It is that freedom what makes the internal change.
Misinterpreting spiritual teachings or knowledge
Carl, a spiritual man; was relating a story to his friends. Carl was able to “forgive” an ex business partner from his wrongdoings.
Richard stole from Carl in a business transaction. Moreover, Richard reacted in a violent way towards Carl when he claimed his money back. Richard threatened Carl and drove away in his pick up truck.
Carl said to his friends: “ I forgave him for what he has done to me, because I know the Universe will take care of him for what he has done. There is no way he is going to get away from it. It is his karma. When I went to the police to report this incident, the officer asked me if I wanted for Richard to go to jail. I said No! I want for him to complete an anger management class. The officer said to me: “That is great of you.” He needs to take care of his anger before he does the same to someone else. Now, whenever I see a red pick up truck, I remember that incident and him, but I have forgiven him.”
Carl’s friends perceived his anger while he was relating his story.
Carl’s mind believes that he has “forgiven” Richard, although anger is hiding between his words.
Many times, we can use our “knowledge” of karma or some other mental teaching to hide our true feelings. That is the danger of knowledge. We could be ready to give the “other cheek” to someone as Jesus has taught; but that action which could be perceived as “great” by outsiders, it is truly “show business,” for the feelings underneath, what we truly ARE is not considered.
Yes, we could hear “great job. That is how Jesus would have done it” and our ego is caressed in such a way as to believe that we are closer to sainthood.
Because of lack of AWARENESS we cannot see our inner dishonesty.
Carl, what are you going to do with that energy of anger that you have in you?
“Anger? I am not angry. I have forgiven him!”
The ego knows “I have given the other cheek. I have been a good Samaritan. I have gotten the law’s approval confirming my greatness.”
The mind could create wonderful excuses. The mind could create “Godly words to live by,” however; what we FEEL will remain stuck with us. Knowledge cannot take that away, for knowledge is only mental.
Everything happening to us is an experience that is worth for us to go through. The labeling to judge our experience such as “good luck or bad luck” is of no consequence. We may need to act according to the law, but hopefully that action is not another cover up to build self-righteousness around us.
The mind could use any “knowledge” to protect the ego. When this happens, we cannot acknowledge our feelings.
Spiritual knowledge is a tool to help us become aware of ourselves. If we do not use it to see ourselves, we use it to judge others; in light of the information we “know.”
Looking for the “truth.”
Mary was outside her home when someone approached her. He was an older fellow, dressed in a scruffy way, “hippie” looking…
Mary’s mind started judging him. The guy turned out to be a very friendly person. He was new in the neighborhood.
For an outsider of that scene, the “reality” was just a meeting of strangers.
The “truth” was in the way both of them felt. Mary’s truth was to be judgmental, regardless of the external behavior. Whether she is AWARE of it or not is a different story.
Why is that important?
Because Mary cannot possibly know herself without concepts, unless she is aware. Without knowing herself, there is no way of BEING happy. Isn’t that important enough?
Our society and religious teachings will condemn judging others.
It goes something like this: “ You shall never judge another.”
Because it is “bad.” It is impure. Sinful. God does not like that. There is bad “karma” associated with it. You’ll get punished.
If Mary caught herself judging others and she strongly believed in that “commandment,” she will feel bad, sinful, shameful… guilty. She “failed” her “test” with the stranger.
She will promise God never to judge again… but her mind will do it… over and over, increasing her idea of being sinful, a failure in need of “salvation.”
The above is an example on how religions and societies thrive in “changing” others through concepts, by using fear of not accomplishing that concept.
Awareness is not mentioned. Openness and acceptance of “what is,” is not part of the teachings… You must repress your mind before it throws up its judgment upon others… before you get “bad karma” and punishment.
Because Mary was aware of what was going on in her mind, she caught herself. She realized that her thoughts were not “real.” She learned about her mind.
Mary didn’t need to know all the “morality.” Those things arising in her mind are labeled as “judgment,” and those things are “bad, sinful and impure.”
Her AWARENESS was all it was needed when she remained observant of her “truth,” her inner world.
Because she was conscious, aware through that episode of Life, her mind was free from judgments.
What did she do to get rid of judgments?
Nothing. She did not practice anything.
But if you are to call that “practice” with some label, call it Tantra.
Because you can only give who you ARE, unless you ARE love, there is no love to give.
We are taught to believe that we can give love without BEING it, as when we can give money to someone when we “get it.”
We cannot “get” love to give, unless we ARE.
Any “effort” on BEING loving is self-deception.
We are taught to be desire-less to be happy. However, what is the anxious need to go to “Paradise,” to reach illumination, to please God, to become “soul” conscious”? Those things are desires just like any other “mundane” desire.
We are taught to “help others in a self-less” way; Nevertheless, we cannot BE self-less by separating “I” from the “others.” As a matter of fact, to “help others” is just a catchy phrase. By helping others, we only help ourselves. Do we get this riddle? We are not separated.
We are taught to take Life seriously, whether in the mundane business world or in the Godly world: Time is money- Become someone, save yourself from hell; hurry up! This is your only chance, if you miss this chance you will be doomed forever…
We cannot enjoy life when there is pressure to attain something, when our process is not being respected. Then we are willing to “sacrifice” our lives now for the promise to “enjoy” something in the future. That is a wonderful “method” but nothing else.
That promise of a “better” future is empty, as the “I” as it is now, cannot be the “I” in the future.
Our desire for a “better future” will only make us reject the “now.”
Once we realize the depth of all of those beliefs in our minds; then we are ready to put aside all of those teachings, to unlearn all of those things which keep the “rat-race” going in our minds as well as the division, of the mundane and the divine.
We could be aware of our own fear to continue in Life without those “training wheels,” those half-truths which we believed to be the “holy truth.” Ego needs the security of being part of a “selected” group, the mainstream, the Godly family, the familiar faces…
The above realization is the first step of our catharsis as seekers.
Before that, being a seeker is just another fashion, another way for the ego to believe in himself as “virtuous,” another way to socialize and to show how many spiritual books we can read and how many authors we could quote. That is a source for fattening our needy ego, for we could obtain the label of “knowledgeable” among our peers.
A catharsis then, is a process of unlearning and with that, a process of unleashing our repressed behaviors.
We could understand that some beliefs are just equal to the belief in Santa Claus, a technique meant to teach a self-centered person, the “joy” of giving a gift to another… but the belief in Santa Claus will be deep down in our unconscious no matter how much we could reason and understand in the surface of the conscious mind. Its depth in the unconscious is proportional to the amount of time we have spent drilling down such beliefs in our conscious mind.
For that reason, we shall deal with emotions, the “programming” of our unconscious.
Many individuals who have not experienced the process of a catharsis are caught up in blaming a society, a religion, a practice… unable to see that every experience is invaluable in our development.
What is important is to know when those “tools” need to be discarded, so we could embrace something new.
For instance, ego is a “tool.” It is not a “bad” thing, a vice. It is a mechanism of “self-defense,” something that will allow a person to survive in this society. However, it comes to a point, when that grown up ego, is an obstacle to flourish by connecting with others… then ego must go away through a process of catharsis.
The “programming” is erased. Some religions pretend to have “the method” to erase the emotions stored deep in our unconscious. However, everyone is not the same. A “method” may work for some but no others. Life will bring the right conditions at the right time. Different Life experiences are tailored to our particular needs. We are not alone.
Through that catharsis, you are empty and open for newness. It is in that emptiness how Love IS.
Before that catharsis, love may be pretty talk, romantic “get aways,” and fairy tales.
Don’t follow me, for “I” will not take you there
Our consciousness is our reality. To change that “reality” we may need to go through the full range of experiences deemed for that consciousness through the assimilation of those experiences. Those are perceived as Life “ups and downs.”
In religious talk and philosophical musings, “I” can change my consciousness at any time.
That is short of nonsense.
However, that nonsense has been going on for a long time now, with the outcome of people living in greater fear, repression and anxiety due to their desire to reach or obtain a particular state of consciousness by “doing” things.
It is about time to finish that childish idea that by “doing” certain actions someone could enjoy a different consciousness.
It is not like that, because “doing” cannot change “being.”
I can do something 1000 times per day to get rid of for example, laziness. My continuous activity will cover my laziness and as long as I keep doing my action 1000 times per day, I will not “see” my laziness, even though it will be there. Stop the action and laziness will surface again.
It is just a cover up.
“Doing” reinforces a previous realization. This is not an intellectual work. It is a realization that comes from the heart.
That is why reading “spiritual stuff” does not do any change in the self until we see our reflection on that reading material and the heart feels the need to change without looking at the “pros” or “cons” of the resolution.
Do you want to wake up at 3 AM to pray every morning?
Great! That is a good time for that. However, your consciousness will not change a bit due to that practice, of that “doing.”
That is my point.
“What do you mean by consciousness?”
The ability to observe “reality” from a particular perspective. Our collective consciousness is lost in duality and the material perception of the world through physical senses. That is one type of consciousness. Neither “good nor bad.”
There is a story about the death of the Buddha, which I heard at one time in a gathering, don’t know if it is true, but it illustrates what I am trying to convey.
The Buddha ate some food that had poison in it. The Buddha knew about that poison and he took it anyway and as a consequence he died.
For some, The Buddha committed suicide.
Suicide= “bad” = “sinful.”
For others, the Buddha didn’t want to offend the host by rejecting the meal.
Not rejecting= “good.” Suffering to please others = “good.”
The above are different types of perceptions, or consciousness in the “good or bad” realm.
Few understood that for the Buddha there is no difference between Life and Death for his consciousness is beyond that duality, so he ate the food for the enjoyment of it.
What is the teaching?
Perhaps to demonstrate that committing suicide is not “bad” when you are in a different consciousness.
The Buddha lived in the “now.” He ate the meal to enjoy the taste of that food while living in “the now” in the gracious company of his host.
For the religious minded individual looking to imitate the Buddha, that will mean to immolate himself out of some excuse because he may think that his “action” will be as elevated as the Buddha’s.
That is not so. That follower will be stupid and pay the price of his self-dishonesty.
His “action” is meaningless when his consciousness does not match it.
Do we think that the Buddha was thinking thoroughly about what to do next while receiving poison?
Not a bit. He just did what was “natural” for him, according to his consciousness.
“But… if he was a person protected by God, he should have survived through a miracle!”
The “miracle” is that there is no death, but for most of us this is just “theory” and fear is our consciousness.
The world of rationality and the intellect is too much about theory, analysis and flowery talk but nothing of utility in changing consciousness.
To try to understand intellectually a consciousness, which we do not currently enjoy, only leads to misunderstanding and blind following of followers through a dogmatic vision of Life. That has been the destiny of every single organized religion through time.
The singular consciousness enjoyed by the “founder” of every religion has been misunderstood/ re-interpreted by followers without exception.
How do I know that?
It is a matter of consciousness. 🙂