“As you said, deconditioning needs to be done to live more sensibly and have a fulfilled life which can be done by spending lots of time in nature. Can you suggest some of the ways to incorporate that in daily life ? Taking a walk daily in nature, is that enough ? Or something more needs to be done ? May be taking a weekend off to some place ? What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned ? To leave the society for long periods of time sometimes, is not possible.”
Thank you for your question. It is appreciated.
Your question allows me to clarify somethings about deconditioning.
Observe that in “spirituality” we want to “accomplish” things. Some want illumination, God, etc. and the expectation is that there are certain methods or techniques to get there. It is not like that, but that is the conditioning based on our goal oriented society. “I want that too” is the motto.
Life does not have “goals.” Consciousness keeps changing without human interaction, without the “I” DOING things.
Deconditioning is not to be done. It happens. Nature is not a method for deconditioning, but deconditioning happens through Nature as well as through other means.
Probably the last phrase does not make any sense. 🙂 I will try to explain.
I could easily say:” Sure, a walk in the park in the early hours is best for deconditioning. At least 3 times a week on an empty stomach.” But that is not so. This is not an exercise meant to fit our busy schedule, so we can accomplish deconditioning along with other things that we want in Life.
Ahnanda only shares his experiences. Ahnanda is not sharing methods or techniques.
In my experience, Nature is important to create the space for deconditioning. I did not “choose to be in Nature,” I did not go to Nature for the goal of deconditioning.
I love Nature. It is Natural for me to seek it without any purpose other than sheer enjoyment of it.
Then, deconditioning happens as my love for Nature took me away from the pursues and busy-ness of the “Office World.”
Nature is a very important part of my Life but, I incorporate the “Office world,” 5 times a week up to 40 hours per week.
If you join a religious group (the most distant from current ways of society, the better) out of a feeling rather than a thought of mental gain, deconditioning will happen as well, but you will be conditioned in a new way. Most followers are not aware of that.
Thus, in your last question: “What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned?” Be open to Love. Love will do.
Love to Nature, Love to God, Love to Life, Love to someone else…
Love implies acceptance, openness for another, that will necessarily take you away from your comfort zone. That is the needed space to see things from a different perspective. Everything else after that is awareness. Most think that they love already, but they are conditioned, how come? Discover if your “love” is the one that will make you forget about yourself rather than reinforce it. Reinforcing yourself means to reinforce conditioning, and that is not the kind of love that I am talking about.
Deconditioning is not rejection of our previous conditioning. Deconditioning will give us the ability to see our old being, just like when we remember our days as little kids.
There are many ways to see the world. This vision is not about finding what is “right” and reject what is “wrong,” which is the prevalent conditioning.
Observe that every way to see the world will have its chance to manifest. It will appear and then disappear; thus there is nothing to hang onto, nothing to bring as the “truth” for change itself is not the “truth” but just another way to see the world, another vision.
Deconditioning will not give you “truth,” but openness. It is that openness what will bring fulfillment in Life… and that certainly, could be your unspoken “truth.” 🙂
Observe that I have purposely used conditioned terminology: Truth, Doctrine and God.
Those 3 words have all the ingredients to enhance any “spiritual” message, to make it sound important. That is the conditioning!
Life is. We live it. We are conscious of it. That is the gift.
To be conscious of BEING, to BE conscious of the surroundings including our own bodies, that is a fantastic experience!
When we wake up in the morning from sleeping, the gift of a new experience is right there. However, our minds will add conditioned thoughts to define our current newness with the past, it will unwind the reel of past experiences to shape up our perspective on things… That is how Life becomes the “same old thing.”
The interesting aspect is that we want to hang onto the known. That which is known to us, secure, unchangeable which basically follows the pattern of our mind: The mind welcomes static things, lifeless things, something that could be labeled and classified as “good or bad.” Those labels will remain unchanged through centuries of conditioning.
“Snake.” Observe the feeling that this word brings, the imagery, the emotions. Whatever it is, the bottom line is: Is it “good or bad”?
We are so lifeless when living through words!
The effect of hanging onto the known brings fear. Our minds are masters in the art of infusing fear.
Then, we search for God, we look for truth, for a doctrine to “save us” to keep us safe, to mitigate fear.
Life becomes a task, a DOING to accomplish that safety, whether that is through possession of goods, the pursue of god or the attainment of what is good. Do you see how similar those words are?
“God, goods, good.” Observe your feelings for those words, your emotions, your conditioning.
Life is away from all those words and their connotation and conditioning.
Your experience of BEING is related with feelings and those feelings get distorted through words, concepts, definitions.
Life is not about static “TRUTH.” It is about appreciation of perspectives (realities not reality) and thus, enjoyment of them. To allow them to change as Life changes, as BEING changes without the need of the artificial DOCTRINE (religious, political) that keeps things under control, to bring the sensation of safety, to calm down fear.
Away from that Life of concepts, ideals and conditioning Life IS.
Appreciation and enjoyment of “what is” without further labels, is the key for change, for self-transformation, self-realization, enlightenment and all of those “good” but meaningless words.
Life is away from our mind driven life. 🙂
To complete the last article, consider this:
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ( From Batman Begins)
The above is a “spiritual” quote with the teaching to “never give up.” Nevertheless, it is not the complete phrase describing Life.
“Why do we rise, sir? So that we can learn to fall.”
Now, that is the complete experience.
To rise and fall come in the same package. Those are not different things, as we have been conditioned to believe. Being “successful” is only a word that we use to segment our lives. Yes, you can be “successful” at work, in sports, in your family life, at church, and whatever else we may think that we are “successful” at. BUT, that is not the whole package.
What about your health? What about your inner peace? What about your fears? What about your sex life?
Are you “successful” in all those facets at the same time, for as long as you live?
Under the above “reality” the perception of “success” and “failure” will vanish.
Now consider this:
“The true path is to go North. Follow me.” Sounds familiar?
That is incomplete.
However, the sage came a few days later and said: “The true path is to go South. Follow me.”
His followers were baffled. Why is this sage contradicting himself? Logically, there is no “truth” in contradiction! He is not a sage at all!
Which one is the true path? It is North or South? There cannot be both!
The sage gave the full experience: North and South. His followers may need a little de-conditioning to understand that.
If you could walk North all the way on Earth, wouldn’t you end up South?
That is “reality.” However, our minds are conditioned to perceive North and South as 2 different things. The “reality” of their difference is only referential.
Most religious “spirituality” avoid the full experience and embraces only one side of their own creation of duality.
“Do not do this…” This is the “true” path!
What could be the practical lesson out of the above?
Any spiritual path which does not embrace the whole human experience, is only a partial path.
Any religious holy book embracing only one side of a duality, is not the complete path. It is partial. It may have benefits for followers, yes… but it is not complete.
Self-realization is a path of inclusion, completeness; where openness of that which we know as “I,” opens in such a way as to disappear in the immensity of Oneness.
That openness can be labeled as “surrender” ”egolessness” or some other “spiritual” label.
“You” are God, not because you ARE, but because “you” ARE NOT.
“You” are Life, not because you ARE the same as Life, but because “you” ARE NOT.
When “you” ARE, you cannot be anything else. “You” ARE stuck in “you,” so self-absorbed that “you” can only separate from everyone else and Life. The paradox being that that which we think we ARE, we ARE NOT. What you put in words, is not.
Perhaps, this is the main issue with “spirituality “for the masses:
It is so concerned in making believers become something that they ARE NOT instead of supporting the seeking of who they ARE.
When you find who you ARE, you will find all the answers, without asking a question. 🙂
“According to Krishnamurti, meditation is Life. According to Osho, meditation is a technique, according to Tolle, meditation is….”
That type of comparison and quoting of “words of wisdom,” maybe what we have learned in school when writing a paper on whatever topic. It may sound scholarly, very Wikipedia like and scientific; but for those seekers who are in Life to be one with it, the above is completely meaningless. It has no value other than trivia, intellectual information.
Being one with Life is not about complying with our ideas of what we/Life should be. For example, if someone meditates, that is alright but do not be naïve in believing that what you are DOING is “true” meditation. It is just your own spin of it, your perspective even though you maybe following some Guru’s recipe to the dot. Meditation is what you believe in , what you have experienced, but not what you have read or heard.
Many times, followers will be copying the “words of wisdom” of their gurus, and using them as if those were their own realizations. In the scholar world, we give credit to the source of our “wisdom” if is not ours; but in “Spirituality” because there is no copyright on experiences, something is “yours” if you have experienced yourself. Then, talk about it, explain it with your own words. Say “in my own experience.” However, most like to say at this point, “the truth is….”
One of the most celebrated cliché phrases in “spirituality” is: “Every religion talks about the same truth, just in different ways.”
We are sold on that cliché, for it is nice to acknowledge every religion, or spiritual path as having the “truth.” We will make many friends, and sell many books through that phrase.
Nevertheless, whoever is saying that does not know.
“The truth” is not some story about redemption.
Find the truth in yourself.
Cryptic, huh? Similar to the cliché “know thyself.”
Here is the catch. Those who know cannot give more details about it. Why? Because it is a personal experience. Life will give those experiences to those who are ready. Every attempt to explain a personal experience to others by “enlightened” people, has evolved into a religion/spiritual movement thanks to unaware followers.
There is no “method.” No “solution.” No “practice.” Although, to get there, we may have gone through many methods, many solutions and many practices before.
Because we need the experiences to get us to the point of being ready.
Many spiritual books have been already written, many concepts have been followed to attain God, Salvation, self-realization, etc.
My “money back guarantee” is that none of them, can take us to our own truth. None of them.
It takes awareness, being awake, de-conditioned, “tabula rasa,” transparency, unadulterated honesty, etc. (many words to refer to the unexplainable) to get there. This is a process through Life experiences, not chapters of a book to be read and studied.
On this path of knowing your own truth, misinterpretation from others, misunderstanding from others, opposition from others are sure to come our way. That is the story of many “avatars” throughout human history: Imprisonment, persecution, even crucifixion.. but once they are death; they are remembered through the memory of confusing human writings. 🙂
Life cannot be explained through words.
Any attempt to explain it becomes only a limited perspective.
“Seekers” embrace different belief systems with the attempt to explain Life: “After you die, your spirit will continue on…” That is one belief which will separate into other beliefs: You will either go to heaven or hell OR you will take birth again in another body. But there are many other alternatives. Then, the confused “seeker” will want to know the “truth.” What is the “truth”?
Whatever it is, it cannot be explained through language without using our conditioned mind and limited experiences to make sense of something completely new. Thus, be aware that many times all we get are just mental speculations until we experience the experience ourselves.
Let us say that we live in the 1600. We see a supersonic fighting plane in our dreams.
Observe that anyway we explain the dream, it will be short from the truth. We could say something like: “I dreamt about a very fast flying object.” I cannot say “plane” for that label is not yet known. My description will be very lame.
What material is the plane made of? How fast does it fly on the sky? What sort of engine it uses? I saw something but I don’t know much about it. I can only use my limited past experience to explain something new. However, if someone else had the same dream, little words will suffice for mutual understanding.
The same concept applies with any explanation that individuals have about Life and the afterlife or the spirit world, etc. They may have experienced things but in the language that they use to transmit their experiences to others; there is plenty of inaccuracies and assumptions.
Therefore, any explanation of the unknown, is limited by knowable terms.
It is said that Gautama Buddha was silent when someone asked him about God. What was the general interpretation?
“Buddha does not know God. Buddha is an atheist, that is why he is silent.” However, I can see know his compassion. Silence is the alternative to an amicable lie.
Similarly, a state of being which hasn’t been experienced, cannot be understood intellectually through words. For instance, the use of comparisons is typical in our society. Our language thrives through the use of comparisons, without them we could not understand properly what someone means.
A self-realized individual does not compare with others. His BEING does not depend on the duality of higher/lower than, but yet when using language to make a point, a comparison may need to be used.
What is the general misinterpretation? A person cannot be self-realized if he is comparing. People driven by the mind, typically judge based on language alone. “He said this, therefore; he IS like that.”
Any knowing that is worthwhile in Life, is not reflected in just words. Look beyond the words. The mystery of Life is not meant to be explained through belief systems. None of them could have “truth” when our dualistic language cannot allow it. The mystery of Life is meant to be lived, experienced and that “knowing” cannot be transmitted to another. It has to be lived, experienced to be understood.
In our society to “re-invent the wheel” is considered to be a waste of time and resources. However, in Life; that is the way to legitimately know. 🙂
Last article had an important information that most likely is not seen in many “spiritual teachings.”
“Before fully accepting the animal side (Tantra) we need to fully reject it.”
For example, there are 2 “spiritual seekers” looking for methods to deal with anger. Both of them have the same guru.
The guru could tell both the same answer: “Anger is Bad. You must control it. God dislikes angry people.”
This consistency of telling the same method for the same issue (anger) apparently is “good.” Most will conclude, the method must be “true.”
A guru with greater depth will not look only at the question, but at the state of consciousness of the seeker.
If the seeker does not know about rejection in his consciousness, he will need that. The answer above (“You must control it”) may help him.
If the seeker had plenty of experience with denial, rejection and repression of “bad traits,” then he may be ready for Tantra.
The guru may say: “Observe it. Become aware of it. Let it go through you.”
The “answer” is according to the state of consciousness of the disciple.
The word that destroys this harmony between state of consciousness and answer, is called “truth.”
When a seeker is looking for conceptual “truth” is not truly looking for inner change.
The truth about Life is a personal journey to be discovered, not researched or accepted as second hand information.
Observe that in “spirituality for the masses,” information is given and that is interpreted by the reader. This information then is “applied” into Life. That is the theory, but it does not work.
Because inner change does not happen through mental understanding of concepts, but through living experiences in Life… then what we read, we could identify as “true” according to our experiences.
Life experiences have a polarity. Two ends of the same rope. One side of the rope is on the “right” and the other on the “left.” Most spirituality labels one side as “good” and the other as “bad.” This simplistic but unrealistic perspective does not understand that the natural way of things is to move. Life is movement. We will experience the full range of experiences. This is not a matter of just one life time, but many. Continuity is endless.
Carlos is a womanizer. He wanted to settle down when he no longer could keep up with all his lovers, that is the time when trouble was evident for him: Unwanted children, fights, stress, diseases. He realized that he wanted to change his ways. He embraced the religious view that sexuality should be avoided to be “pure.” That made sense to his mind as sexuality brought trouble to him. Thus, he went from one extreme into the other. “Black or white.”
As he did not fully understand his own sexuality and sexual energy, he used his will power to reject sex, to repress it as to agree with his new ideal of “purity.” That is how his journey started moving from the “right” side of the rope, into the “left.” That is the full range of experience.
Obviously, Carlos is not ready for Tantra (full acceptance) yet for he will misinterpret it as “permission” to continue with his lifestyle despite the trouble that he is experiencing. But he is ready for Yoga, that is the use of willpower to change his behavior through rules, do’s and don’ts.
There are many religious views in the world. Many times some ask, who has the truth?
IT DOES NOT MATTER. Let us not get confused with that little word. What matters is that a religion, philosophy or belief could be a vehicle to allow for consciousness to move from one side of the rope into the other. That is all.
That path is there. It only needs to be walked to discover it. 🙂
AWARENESS is not something to practice. It is something to be aware of…
How to make sense of that sentence? We heard so much about being AWARE, but all we have are beliefs, interpretations, concepts, information of what that is thus, useless stuff for self-realization.
“Useless” is the right word. It has to be experiential to be able to understand, to know.
Here is an “exercise.” It is not something to “practice.” It is something to fully experience. If you cannot fully experience it, if you cannot let yourself go, then repeat it again.
Find a full size mirror, those that will allow you to observe most of your physical body.
If you are fully clothed, you will probably be alright. The conditioning is to look at the clothes to see if they are wrinkled, if they match, if they look good on you, etc.
Now, take your clothes off. Observe your body and your face fully while doing this “exercise.” Did you notice your tummy? The size of your sexual organs? The color of your skin? The wrinkles in your face?
Did you notice how you feel while observing those elements of your body?
AWARENESS resides in that.
Did you feel shame? Did you blush and feel embarrassed?
In that moment, that is who YOU are.
Isn’t it silly to get embarrassed by looking at your own body?
That is where the hang up resides. Look for the root of it.
Did you like your body?
That is sick! You are supposed to like someone else’s body but not your own. Perhaps you have some homosexual issues… huh?
That’s it! You found another trauma. Go to the root of it. A body is a body. There is beauty in the body. Appreciate it. Enjoy the moment.
Want to go on with the exercise?
OK. Caress your face while looking at the mirror. What do you feel? Caress your chest. What do you feel? Caress your sexual organs. What do you feel?
Masturbation is “bad”! I shouldn’t touch myself! Do you recognize that thought? What is the difference between touching your face and your sexual organs? Find the beliefs, the taboos. Observe how you feel. Be aware of it.
How could you enjoy pleasure with all of those hang ups, taboos and beliefs in morality and decency?
You cannot. Your mind will not allow you. It is not the ACTION what makes something “sinful.” It is what you feel while DOING it.
How do you “love yourself” if you cannot accept what you see and what you feel by touching your own precious body?
Do you take care of it? Now you are aware…
Want to go deeper? Now self-pleasure yourself in front of the mirror. Look at your face but even more important, observe what you feel. Observe the taboos, the moral standards, the traumas flowing…
Do you feel shame? How about guilt? Someone watching you?
Be AWARE of all of that to discover who you truly are.
Observe how all of that inside you is being covered by decent words, spiritual concepts, Godly morality, that stuff is defining you, coercing you to comply with the conditioning. Discover the root of it, liberate yourself!
There cannot be innocence while looking at your image in that mirror and caressing yourself, until that rust accumulated over many Life experiences, is cleaned up, cleared. For that stuff will be the “inheritance” you will give to others close to you.
Become AWARE of that.