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. 🙂
Joe feels depressed. He is disappointed by the experience of Life. He cannot believe that Life is so short and full of troubles, never ending struggle just to meet death at the end. The idea of being inside a wooden casket and seeing all pitch black from there is frightening. He becomes a seeker…
Tina was minding her own business, busy with things to do and places to go. One day through a dream she had an experience: She was speaking with a beautiful being. “He” was a peaceful white light in human form. It was very soothing to hear his voice. He had a message for Tina: “Tomorrow you will know more about me, little child.” The next day Tina met some people, who had the same experience. Tina labeled that experience as “meeting God” due to the support of others “chosen” ones. She became a seeker…
Ralph was born in a religious family. He knew about God. He knew about being a sinner and even though, he didn’t care much about it; he believed in that. It was his conditioning. There was nothing much going on in Ralph’s life. It was a mediocre experience for him. One day he meets some people in a party. These people looked very happy. Ralph wanted that for him. They told Ralph that they have found happiness in their church. Ralph became a member of it. Ralph became a seeker…
The stories may change. The common denominator is that either the seeker wants something more than themselves: To become better, to know the “truth,” etc. or they desire a relationship with the highest being, the highest power, to be “someone” by default of a relationship with the “highest” thing ever.
They are looking for “union” with something “better” than themselves, that ambition will give them a sense of purpose.
That is how Yoga arrives in their lives.
Every deistic religion is a form of yoga, for the ultimate is to be close to God, be equal to God, fused with God, in the grace of God, one with God, etc. The label “God” has such importance in this path.
Every form of Yoga has a common characteristic: To increase the ego of the seeker as the idea of “becoming better” is infused in the participant.
The striving of becoming some ideal, is a form of ego. The ego wants “some of that” to increase its own appreciation, importance, self-respect, etc.
Every yoga path, has a particular practice which separates the participant from everyone else, that is what makes them “better.” Even if it is about performing a physical asana in the yoga studio: That practice gives you a title: “Yogi,” it gives you a sense of belonging to a special circle where “yamas and niyamas” are dutifully practiced, separating you from the rest. “You” are “special.”
That feeling of being “special” will give the seeker a sense of purpose, motivation, an objective in Life to be “better” and to reach to the “top,” just like in the “office world.” But this is even “better,” for it is no mundane stuff. It is “spiritual,” “divine.”
The seeker starts by increasing his ego. Why?
Because as mentioned before, the most important aspect of any religious/ spiritual path is for the participant, to be aware of ego, the “I.” That is the common link of any path.
The easiest way for self awareness to occur is by increasing ego.
Unfortunately, many seekers are not conscious of this and rather believe in their own self-importance, self-righteousness.
Nevertheless, the struggle to become “better” has started by separating ourselves from mainstream. That is what a religion/ spiritual path brings, a different perspective so we could look at our conditioning, what we have learned in mainstream society.
This great “tool” is overlooked and instead it becomes a lifestyle for many, where to be “right” and close to God is believed to be achieved through certain practices, DOINGS, etc.
A path of yoga is without a doubt a necessary path for many to un-condition from the “office world;” it is a subtle continuation of the idea that our society has about the importance of achievement, to become better, higher, more powerful. That is why, this path is readily understood by the majority and part of their “spiritual” journey. 🙂
“Since Life presents many perspectives which are labeled by humans according to their conditioning, what is the point of a spiritual path?”
To be ONE with Life. However, that cliche answer is not truly what it is.
“Then… what is, what is?” 🙂
We are already ONE, but we are not aware of it.
To “gain” that awareness, there have been 2 apparently contradictory paths. One is the path of Yoga (Union) the other, is the path of Tantra (Openness/Expansion.)
Observe that in Life, paradoxically openness and union are the same exact thing.
The question is: Who opens and who is in union?
Thus, the “I” is the main thing, the link between those 2 apparently contradictory paths. That is why all paths return to the “I.”
In Yoga, the “I” is the last thing for someone to become fully aware of. It is the path of resistance, struggle, suffering of the “I” to become something else, greater, improved, magnificent. I am not referring here about memorizing the definitions of Patanjali about yoga or the practice of pretty asanas like in the “yoga” studio near you.
Yoga is the will power to be someone else and the struggle to make it happen through controlling the mind.
In Tantra, the “I” is the first thing to become aware of, by going into the beliefs systems, taboos, hang ups, ideals, moralities… all of that which makes up the “I.” It is the path of pleasure, enjoyment, openness, by being “nothing,” that is being away from the mind. Thus, emphasis on unlearning, leveling the mind, regaining innocence of a child and not trying to be someone… such as “equal to God.” Taoism is closest to Tantra than any other path. However; to understand it we need to live it, experience it and put all books aside.
I can put this writing together about yoga and tantra into 2 pages long, because it is my Life experience. It does not come from a book. Although many salesman are putting together their own versions of yoga/tantra, know that in “reality” those labels only describe a Life experience and every salesman, only puts their own flavor in it. Their “creation” is ready to be sold with the “right” package. Happily, purchased by the masses who are looking to solve their problems by taking that “magic” pill. Let me share with you something that I have found true in my journey: Every book/writing which has been of any help in my journey, has always been free of charge, easy to download. No salesman involved.
Yoga and Tantra are 2 ends of the same continuity. When the “I” becomes someone equal to “God,” then to be in union with Life, that “someone” will need to go away. But that is at the end of the “yoga” journey.
In Tantra, that “union” preached by Yoga, arrives when the “I” opens up to Life. Open, open, expand, until the “I” is no longer there…
In your Life at this time, you may be living your interpretation, your creation, of one of those 2 paths. However, a fruit matures at the end of the journey. Thus, in spirituality, in Life the journey is to go through both paths without choosing, without making a brainy “selection” coming from the “I.” Life will give the opportunity when the “aspirant” is ready.
I realize that “yoga” has a name recognition. A “good” name. Easy to follow. Easy to understand. Tantra instead, has a “bad reputation.”
To go into the path of pleasure, before having experienced fully the suffering of the “I,” means to find suffering in pleasure. Nevertheless, as we know; all experiences are “good.” They are part of the journey.
“How do you label your own journey then?”
In this life I could call it: From yoga to tantra. The offspring of that marriage is Ahnanda.
Both, yoga and tantra; are paths of self-discovery. Life may give someone a book, another a guru, yet to another a spirit-guide, etc. The means are different, but the end is the same: Self-discovery. To be one with Life.
We interpret life. We typically do not observe.
It is a wonderful sight to observe how daylight appears from nighttime. The label we use is “dawn.”
That perception of pristine light may be called “paradise,” and darkness “hell” or we can change labels in duality and call them “good” and “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” etc.
Nevertheless, when there is a preference for an experience, a rejection is born out of that preference. The night is not cherished as much as daylight.
“Hell” is despised despite its continuous occurrence and need to be there, for “paradise” to happen.
The above is the belief system and moral standard of many at this time. It is called duality.
Our culture has taught us to “choose” one side considered “good” and reject the other.
Embrace the day and reject the night.
That vision is the cause of inner and outer conflicts.
That vision takes a person into mental and psychological issues.
There is absolutely nothing that “we” have to “do” for nighttime to become daylight again. It will happen by itself, without “our” help.
Do we see that?
What it needs to change is our vision, our attitude in life.
Nighttime offers an experience and so daylight.
When we embrace both without judgment as life experiences, then we don’t reject; but we integrate.
We have been taught that “angels” reject the darkness of the light. They fight for light and conquer evil.
A being of light or an “angel” does not reject any part of duality. A being of light does not reject “hell” and chooses heaven. A being of light integrates both perceptions and experiences so his life remains in joy, in appreciation and in balance according to the movement of time.
Embracing the Totality is what we call harmony. A being of light is harmonious in life.
Life is harmony… if “I am” the Totality, why I am not harmonious?
That is the question. The answer may be the sense of self. There is no flowing in life when we are not life itself.
The symbol of “yin and yang” expresses that beautifully, although that symbol is open to interpretation according to the consciousness of the viewer.
Some will say: “ It is the concept of duality forming a whole.”
That concept is worthless, intellectual stuff.
The symbol of “ying yang” represents life itself, the Totality. That symbol is meant to be in movement just like life.
“Tai-chi “ is that slow movement which represents life. To consciously balance the different energies in the self.
When we truly understand harmony then we can start seeing something different. There is no fight needed. Nothing to conquer.
A life without harmony does not experience joy. That joy “NOW” is the most important item in life from my view.
As long as there is a rejection of a part of life, we will have an internal issue, an emotion that will need to be healed.
Typically we say that “acceptance” of life is needed, but there is no such a thing as “acceptance” when there is “no-self” to be life itself.
Thus, to bring that harmony, there are many elements that life offers in our experience. To use those according to time and circumstances is the art.
Whatever we choose to do or to be matters, as long as there is harmonious joy, balance in living.
That is the bottom line.
The above observation was expressed in a different way by another culture with the word “yoga.”
It is union. It is not the “union” of the “self” with something else, such as “life,” “God,” the “divine,”etc.
It is the union that happens when there is “no-self.”
Is self “bad”?
That question is called “misinterpretation.”
It is just a different experience.
We are so in-tune with “self.” We understand the world in “self.” We follow religious beliefs in “self.”
Through these writings, the invitation is to explore “no-self” and to embrace both,self and no-self; to integrate both experiences, to be harmonious just like the yin-yang symbol.
Want a teacher, a guru for that?
Observe Nature, the plants and the animal kingdom. Learn from their “ignorance” and open your heart to appreciate with thankfulness the marvelous opportunity to feel life by being aware, conscious of it.
Throughout these sharings, we have been seeing the importance of observing the self, that means to understand the self.
Because if we are “normal” individuals; then we could find that our “self” is fragmented. That means, we have different “selves” inside ourselves. 🙂
There is the voice of the body. The voice of the past with its own suffering. The voice of hope in the anxious future, the voice of the ego, the voice of boredom etc.
Every voice inside of us has a distinct, unique personality.
Do we recognize those voices inside us? That is what is meant by a fragmented self.
Our consciousness of individuality has taken us to the experience of a fragmented personality. Every voice will take the “lead” at different times. When that happens our personality will change accordingly.
“He does not know who I am. I will show him.”
“Why does she act in that way? She does not love me….but I love her so much… She makes me suffer.”
“I must achieve the illuminated stage. I want to be a pure, illuminated being.”
“I am tired of this. I want something different. When I move out to a different place, everything will change and I will be happy.”
The above, are examples of those inner voices. Every voice brings its own mood, its own colorful theme! 🙂
The task of any spiritual walker is to unify those fragments into something cohesive, so it can be integrated into the Totality.
In brief, that is what spirituality is all about: Integration into the Totality by diluting the ego (or any of the other “voices” inside us.)
The above is not related with “Paradise,” “salvation for all” or the “holy gospel” or some devotional practice to “purify” yourself.
This is about self observation.
We cannot “conquer ego” because there is nothing to conquer.
Who is conquering what?
The observer is being separated from that which is observed. Then, only thoughts will be in between. That separative thinking only preserves ego.
We can dilute ego, because under the light of awareness; ego cannot remain and that is the opportunity to go deeper into its understanding, for the dilution to last. Otherwise, ego will survive and grow stronger like an obstinate weed.
The dilution of ego means greater integration into the Totality. That is what the word “yoga” or “union” means. It is union with everything, not just with someone special or specific.
Yoga is the experience of Totality.
To integrate the “self” into that Totality means to go back into the formless.
Form and formless is a duality, which trap many individuals. Ego loves form, for that is a way to identify itself. The formless is frightful.
An integrated, sane, healthy human being should be capable of dwelling into those 2 kinds of consciousness (Individuality and Totality.)
There is no need to choose as to which one is “better” or which is “good” or “bad.”
The wind blows in different directions according to the need of time, and so we can.
There is a door in the room of life. Many are only located on one side of that door. That feels safe, that side brings company and comfort but not happiness. Those who dare to know what is on the other side of the door, will be the ones who know both sides. To cross that door means to leave that comfort zone and the fear of losing what we already know.
That is the complete experience.
Om Shanti Brother, I have a question. When I was a kid, I did not know what anger was. What was that emotion like and I used to wonder how people get angry and how can they shout at others. I would also get scared of such people. I spent my childhood among extremely dominating people and never ever expressed any feelings. Now, I get so angry that I wonder how people can remain calm or even have patience while dealing with others. Even small small things irritates me and I end up getting very angry and take a lot of time to calm down. What I realize is the more I do yog, this quality is becoming more and more stronger. Please suggest. Thank you. Om Shanti.
Thank you for your great question!
You are observing yourself in the process of time. You first didn’t understand what was anger, then you developed anger. You understood by living it not by a definition or as a concept. Please keep always that teaching in mind.
We could spend lots of time trying to find the reason of that anger, but the reality is not that you have anger but that you are anger. Two different things. That is why, external methods can only suppress that feeling of anger for a while, but it will be there until we realize it.
Your last sentence is ambiguous: “What I realize is the more I do yog, this quality is becoming more and more stronger.”
Is that the quality of becoming angry?
Let me share my experience with “yog” or yoga; perhaps this could answer your question.
When I started in this spiritual path, yoga was about feeling love for God. That quality of emitting love made me feel bliss, something which I have not felt before, for there was no opportunity in my life to feel deep by just sitting in meditation.
That new experience was able to “cool me down” for a little while. I felt at peace and at ease. However, some other times, as I understand in your question, negative emotions such as anger could be felt as being really strong.
That sensation may appear to be stronger, but it was just the realization that “I was this calm” individual at one point; which I never had the chance to realize; but then I could see when that calm individual turned around into a monster. Like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hide.”
Thus, Yoga or Yog is a great way to realize our “unchecked negativities,” but it is kind of artificial if I have to sit around every time to “submerge old sanskaras” or my old personality.
This is why quite often you hear people sharing about their old “sanskaras” (predisposition) coming back even after many years of “doing yog.”
However, BapDada has talked about the “fire of yoga.” I have felt that when there is an oppression in my heart due to a past emotion arising. Then, I will feel strongly “giving that to God” or simply feeling until that “thing” dissolves.
I don’t need to label that emotion as “it is this,” but just be aware of that bothersome sensation being with me.
Thus, whatever you think or feel while doing “yog,” should take you to feel deeply. That is the magic of it.
Nevertheless, It is my own appreciation that the practice of the “point” form or the “a-temporal” stage of the self, the soul, that is what brings greater and lasting transformation for me.
This practice has been discussed in avyakt murlis (please read 1969 murlis) and in this blog as well. Please click on the “spiritual efforts” tab for additional articles; or deeply study this article:
In that awareness, there is a change of consciousness where the “me” is not there. You don’t have to sit for yog, but it depends on your consciousness and its “location.”
Therefore, changes will be permanent as long as you are in that consciousness. The spiritual work then resides in maintaining yourself motivated to experience that consciousness on a regular basis.
Anger is there because there is an “I” doing things, wanting things, expecting things. If you experience what is to be “out” of the “I,” then there cannot be anger for there is no one to get angry.
The last thing that I would like to share is that we will not get there by “doing things,” but by realizing the self.
Om Shanti Bhaiya.. I would like to know, what is the meaning of yog, especially when Baba says, you children have to do yog for 6 hours, 8 hours. Does that mean, we need to sit separately for 6 – 8 hours and be in remembrance of Baba “only” or these 6 – 8 hours could include like listening to Babas songs, class, reading your blog, muralis, or even talking about Baba to someone? Thank you, and many good wishes for you, for this wonderful blog.
Thank you for your great question! and your kind words… 🙂
Yog or Yoga is an experience. That experience is personal. In my experience, what you hear in the Sakar Murlis about yoga is an invitation to express feelings from the heart by having God as the receiver of those feelings. For me it has always been about feelings and not thoughts.
Many have taken remembrance or “yog” literally as remembering Brahma Baba’s face or a point of light or some animated “visualization;” those things are fine but they cannot be applied for everyone to follow the same way.
Yog is an invitation to be connected with spirituality, to experience the inner self, first and foremost.
This is something that you will need to discover for yourself. Let me just share that in my BK career, it has changed from the above description into “remembering the inner self,” that is complete awareness of “I” the soul, while walking and moving around and the experience of that serene feeling while doing “normal tasks.” This is not about using the mind to recall a figure or a picture, or talking words internally; but is about being aware of that which is us and that we could experience.
Many may disagree with me, but this is what currently works for me and has given me a different appreciation of Spirituality as the way for self discovery. Even Sakar Murlis have mentioned: “Be soul conscious and remember the Father.” In my experience, in that soul consciousness there is automatic remembrance of the the Father as we share the basic quality of being souls and there is no separation at that level as we know it at the corporeal level.
There are many articles in this blog about remembrance, which I would suggest for you to read; but bear in mind, that it is your own discovery what is important.
Let us know what you find out.