Living life is about experiencing life to gain valuable insight, thus any path that someone takes to search for answers about their own life will eventually lead that person to realize the self. It all goes back to the self, but that needs to be realized and not conceptualized.
It all depends on our state of consciousness. That consciousness is not modified by “following teachings,” but by gaining insight.
In this way, there is no repression in the self.
We could do something out of compulsion. That is not honest. We could behave in ways that we truly do not feel.
Heckle and Jeckle went to a “spiritual/meditation” class.
Jeckle wanted to help himself to gain “peace of mind” as he was going through “problems” in life. Jeckle started his search for meaning at that point. Before that “problem,” Jeckle had no desire to listen to anything “spiritual” as that was “boring stuff” for him. :-)
Heckle on the other hand, was very experienced. He had experienced different religious groups, spiritual groups, self-help groups, new age groups, metaphysical groups, psychic groups, etc. Read many things, realized others and so on. In every experience Heckle gained valuable insight to continue in his personal path.
Jeckle was listening attentively to the teacher in that “spiritual” class. The teacher was wearing a particular robe which gave him an air of importance.
The teacher spoke about the mind in that class.
“What is the mind? What is its origin? What is its function?” He went on to explain his beliefs as if they were “facts.” Those beliefs were backed up by a book that he was reading to the audience. The book was written by his masters.
“The mind leaves the body. So if you are sleeping and then you think about India and then you die during your sleep… Guess where you are going to live in your next life?”
The teacher went on: “ Life is not just this experience that we have here, but there will be plenty of other lives in the future and the time to be engaged in making those future lives happy, is now; through pure spiritual practices. All problems are just thoughts created by the mind. A feeling of love for someone is just another thought.”
The teacher finished his class with a meditation in which he repeated the same concepts for the audience to repeat in their minds and thus, “realize” those concepts for “themselves.” :-)
Heckle observed that what this teacher called the “mind,” that was called the “soul” in other religious views. He also realized that this teacher was giving importance to the future rather than the “now” and that this teacher wasn’t aware of feelings but only about emotions.
Finally, Heckle concluded that the teacher’s set of beliefs and concepts were not useful for him.
What is the purpose of having a concept about the mind or to play with concepts or beliefs about its origin and function, if Heckle had an experience of it…of what this “thing” is without further labels?
That first hand experience is what is useful to realize the self as an experience, not to have a concept about it or theoretical knowledge.
Heckle was waiting anxiously for the teacher to end his talk, to ask questions and to debunk that “teacher” who was talking “useless stuff” from his viewpoint.
After all Heckle was in favor of the “truth” and not in beliefs and stories based on “hand-me down” teachings. :-)
When the teacher finished his talk, he asked everyone to speak with their seating neighbor about their own realizations in the class.
Heckle heard Jeckle’s viewpoint first.
Jeckle said: “Wasn’t that a great explanation about the mind? I never thought that the mind was so important. I ought to watch my mind from now on…”
When Heckle heard that from his friend; Heckle did not have the courage to debunk the teacher.
Heckle learned through that experience that life teaches everyone in different ways. From that moment, Heckle learned the importance to respect everyone’s path.
When we hear about “Tolerance” of faiths, that is just a concept. We could learn to tolerate someone who thinks and feel different from us, without ever listening to what that person is conveying.
That is “conceptual tolerance” that stuff we can learn from a nice book or a “teacher.”
However, when we experience the need to respect someone’s path in his search for meaning in life, then at that moment; tolerance becomes an unnecessary word. :-)
Jeckle learned about his mind.
Heckle learned from that teacher something about himself which was very important in his self-realization.
Thus, everyone learned something new.
Jeckle is just beginning his journey for meaning in life. Jeckle is acquiring information to feed his mind with “new things” to think about.
Heckle has already gone through that and now Heckle is learning to free himself from that information and letting life itself be the teacher. Heckle is learning to trust and not to think too much.
Different paths. All going to the same place but with different timings.
The flowers in a garden will blossom at different times. The gardener’s job is to respect their personal timing.