When the box of Pandora was opened out of curiosity, all evils spread out around the world. Pandora closed the box and only one “evil” remained: Hope.
In “Spirituality 101,” the word “hope” is used as some sort of virtue.
“I have hope in the world.” “Let us hope for the best,” etc. All catchy phrases, dreamy states of consciousness…
“To be positive is to be hopeful.” Another pretty phrase without much meaning.
Observe how hope arises as a desire for a particular outcome, an expectation. That outcome is what we believe to be convenient for us or for someone.
Once a seeker “grows up,” to be hopeful of a particular outcome is to live in a wishful tense, the future.
That wish or hope is not consistent with “what is” now. It is just a mind trick.
It is through that hope how we could create a dormant state of consciousness.
Many times the hope of some future event will even stop our need to experience in Life. Something will present to us, it is there; but we will not take it “now,” for there is “hope” in the future that something else, “better” will come up.
This hope is a mental distress, a mental issue.
Let us not confuse hope with a “gut feeling.”
Yes, I could postpone something, but it is not out of hope for something “better,” but it is a “gut feeling” which is advising me not to do/take something now. That is it. There is no information as if something “better” will happen at another time. No expectation.
Once we realize that all of those pretty words called “virtues” are merely concepts, then we will not be concerned on definitions for “spiritual” keywords.
A tiger is strong. The word “strong” is qualifying the tiger. The word “strong,” is a way of comparison. The tiger is strong compared to a squirrel, but not to a Blue Whale.
Without the word “strong” the tiger “is.”
Of course, when speaking we need to say something about the tiger, so we add a word, we believe it, we assume it, and we keep that mental association of “strong,” with the word tiger.
In reality, a tiger is neither strong nor weak.
In reality, there is no room for hope, but for “what is.”
Everyone could realize that Life is change, but not everyone could feel that “I” am Life itself.
Therefore change is my inherent “law.”
The apparently inoffensive statement above, has deeper ramifications.
“Mahatmaji,” I said as I squatted beside him on the uncushioned mat, “please tell me your
definition of ahimsa.” (Non-violence)
“The avoidance of harm to any living creature in thought or deed.”
“Beautiful ideal! But the world will always ask: May one not kill a cobra to protect a child, or one’s
“I could not kill a cobra without violating two of my vows- fearlessness, and non-killing. I would
rather try inwardly to calm the snake by vibrations of love. I cannot possibly lower my standards
to suit my circumstances.” With his amazing candor, Gandhi added, “I must confess that I could
not carry on this conversation were I faced by a cobra!”
The above extract is from the “autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda.
The above sounds beautiful.. It sounds like a marvelous example to follow: We have a definition of “something to live by.” We have a value system such as “fearlessness” and “non-killing” and we have a “set of standards” to live by.
The “I” thrives under those circumstances. It becomes a “bigger I.” 🙂
That is the way we have been taught: To follow an ideal of a value system and to stick with it no matter what.
Then, we look at our “standards” and then we make the decision to either follow the standards (good) or to “lower” them (bad.)
Isn’t that the “normal” “spiritual” teaching?
Gandhi cannot lower “his” standards. No matter what the circumstances are.
The above is a typical “black or white” mentality.
When we live life by ideals, we tend to cheat ourselves.
How is that?
Fearlessness is not a “standard.” We are “fearless” or we are not.
This is not a question of following a standard.
To be fearless is not a question of not being afraid. Not being afraid, is repression when feeling afraid.
That would be a lie.
Fearlessness comes from non-rejection of what we are experiencing at the moment and to re-direct that energy into strength, power.
A cobra may kill a mouse to eat it. The intention is survival.
Is the Cobra “bad” because it is not practicing “ahimsa” with the rodent?
If there is a colony of roaches in our home, shall we practice “ahimsa” with them?
Everything goes back to the intention not an “ideal.”
“Vibrations of love” is not something to be “practiced” when needed, but it happens naturally when we are conscious of being that love.
It is not a solution to shoo away the Cobra, but merely a way of embracing an experience, that is our attitude, our perspective.
At the end of the road, we should know that there is no such a thing as dying, for everything recycles again; therefore, “killing” is an action with repercussions, but if non-killing is put as a value to pursue, all we are doing is increasing our ego “value” in the face of the reality of Life. As we breathe, we kill.
When pretending to be “good” is forgotten, then we could observe the reality of exactly who we are. Just like a Tiger may act in different ways according to the settings and circumstances, without a trace of cowardice. A human being does not allow himself to bend and to bow down to the circumstances in Life, but rather fights to keep “his” ideals as a wonderful thing…
When we live Life from the head and thinking, those ideals are important. We get prizes, medals and ovations. We could even be called “saints” or “great souls.”
When we live Life from the heart, all we can show at every moment is who we are. No make-up of values and ideals will be needed.
What we get is “nothing” but a good sleep. “Nothing” but enjoyment of Life. “Nothing” but the opportunity to “BE.”
Observe how Gandhi realized that one thing is to “talk beautifully” about ideals, values and what “we should do and what we shouldn’t” and another thing is to act right there, without rehearsals when the experience comes into our lives.
At that point, only what we ARE will show. Nothing else.
Last night as I was walking without a particular course in mind, I ended up near a law office. Their name was “The aggressive law group.”
Perhaps the meaning of aggressive as belligerent, hostile, ready to attack wasn’t what the lawyers had in mind. Perhaps it was more about boldness, being assertive and energetic, to imply domination over someone.
Nevertheless if the “law” was about justice, there wouldn’t be a need to display a violent performance to “win.”
Our society values domination as a way to demonstrate superiority, worth and status.
As we are part of society, those traits are already learned. A competitive society instill those values over anything else.
We may teach Johnny to be “good,” to love his neighbor; but those words will not make a difference, when to “win” is everything in life. To win what?
Anything. The idea is to dominate. Our value is determined by our ability to dominate someone.
There are many ways to dominate people. All of them inflict violence in one way or another.
If I tell you what is good for you, I am trying to dominate you. It is about showing who is the one who knows and the one who doesn’t.
Life does not teach that way. Life allows us to make “mistakes” to experience so we learn.
Those “mistakes” are not really “mistakes” then, but necessary experiences to learn. Once we understand about our unlimited nature, our eternal nature, we can see that obligating someone to act in a particular way for “his own good,” is merely a matter of restricting someone’s life for the sake of our own ideal.
We could give advice if asked to, we could give an opinion if we feel that we must speak; but interfering into someone’s life is to be aggressive, to use violence.
The above holds true for every relationship. Many times a father may feel a sense of “ownership” with his son. The greater that sense of ownership the son feels, the greatest rejection from the son, will be experienced by the father.
If a husband continues pushing his way over a wife; resentment will build up in her to the point of not listening. This is the point where communication could be cut off. When communication is lacking; there is no relationship anymore. It is just existing together.
It is obvious that the word “domination,” needs to be looked at in our own moments of silence. To understand the ramification of that word in ourselves, means the opportunity to free our lives from that tyranny.
In Spirituality, the same “domination” is used to be “good.” In this case, we will divide our personality in the “bad” side and the “good” side. The “bad” side needs reformation, it needs to shape up. Our “good” side needs to dominate the “bad” side. If the “bad” side starts to “win” that is how temptations appear; and that is the moment that we need to emotionally whip ourselves to behave, to be “good” again.
When that aggressivity, that aim to dominate without understanding is gone; that illusory division, that duality between my “good” self and my “bad” self will be gone as well.
Inside every one of us there is a big tiger and a pussy cat. None is “bad” neither “good.” We just need to learn when the tiger is needed to act and when the pussy cat is needed to express and then, learn the forms and ways to express those characters according to time.
A tiger is not sheer violence and aggression. That is our human interpretation of a tiger’s way to survive. A tiger does not kill for the “fun of it” like a human being can, to express dominance over others. A tiger has wits, tenacity, cleverness and patience. On the other hand, A pussy cat is that huggable creature, amiable, easy-going and ….cute 🙂
That is how the duality of “good and bad” could become one. In that oneness there is no inner conflict.