Dependencies and the search for perfection

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A preference could be small or it could be extremely important. When it is small, that preference is manageable. When that preference has intensity, it becomes a dependency.

A dependency then will show us the extremes of our personality. Thus, for the “life traveler,” to be aware of his own dependencies is “good.”

In the ”black or white” world a dependency is “bad.”

What is the difference between an individual set into the “black or white” ways and a “life traveler” openness?
Consciousness. Awareness.
That is all.

When a “life traveler” is ready to strip down his dependencies, life will offer the experiences for those dependencies to be looked at.

For example, most “normal” individuals despise being “alone.” Definitely our society is not meant for a person to be by himself or herself. There are many pressures, many traditions, many expectations, many beliefs.

To have time to be alone is an important requisite to know that which we call “self.”
No shortcuts on that.
When the dependency of others is strong, self-knowledge is low. It is in that state of dependency when “relationships” happen in a “normal” way. It is called “companionship.”

Until the individual is not whole in himself, there is no relationship as “sharing” but as depending due to the strong preference of not being alone.

What is individual wholeness?
In previous articles it was mentioned that there is an “inner family” in the self. The “inner kid,” the “man,” and the “woman.” They are all together with their own needs and wants. To balance those energies is necessary before integrating into the Totality, whether that is a relationship with someone or not, but Integration is important.

Someone asked at one time “where is this knowledge coming from?”
Obviously is not by reading books and listening to classes given by gurus about “spirituality.”
Obviously is not from following religious groups which could interpret my experiences according to their dogmas. Obviously is not by believing in a “black or white” God.

It is by observing Nature and that which we call the self. It is by listening to Nature and the self.
It comes when we feel at ease with ourselves, when we are ready to strip down our beliefs and emotional hang ups and open our arms to the experiences that life may bring.

To “know” is already in us, all we need to “do” is to let it emerge… and it will emerge when the dependencies lower their intensity.

Is to read spiritual books and to listen to spiritual classes “bad” then? :-)
Of course not. It is part of the changing experience, BUT…we could develop a dependency on those things as well… and life will change the route.

For those who are ready, here is a little something:

When someone else makes the decision for us to change our ways…for example, “reading books” into “not reading books anymore,” that is to lack respect for the life path of someone.

When we make our own decision not to read books anymore for whatever reason, then we embrace repression, rigidity and a new belief.

When it happens naturally without thought, without inner clash, without drama… then that is natural.
For many “life travelers,” to let things happen becomes the biggest guilt trip of all. Trapped in beliefs, they do not allow themselves to change.

Life is change.

When we perceive that perfection which is not a “static” thing, but continuous movement; how on earth could we say something like: “I strive for perfection”?

Perfection is here, right now… but we are not aware of it and we have an idea of something that we want to “achieve in the future.”

Senseless.

If perfection is right now, ever-changing and moving in all respects, what is there to “do”? ;-)

To enjoy it and to appreciate it.

If we learn to do that without reason, without thought, without cultivation and compulsion, naturally… then we may be living life in joy.
That could be labeled as perfection.

Appreciation and preferences

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By observing the variety of life, the different shades, colors, sounds, experiences, etc. We could realize that nothing could be labeled as “bad” for it has a reason to be.
That “reason” does not deal with our perceptions of what is “moral” and what is not.

The movie of life contains everything in itself. That movie has a plot and that plot is meant to self-preserve itself through changes. We are part of that plot.

Thus a sense of appreciation and gratefulness for “what is” will be naturally born.
“What is” could be tinted by the colors of our belief systems.
If I observe a snake eating a rabbit, I could observe it or I could act upon it just to change things according to my belief system or the Disney’s channel’s view… or I could feel sad or even happy.
All of those reactions have a label in our minds: Crazy, good, bad, stupid, etc.

Every person will react in a different way.

The issue is when a preference arrives.
A preference is not a choice. A preference is something like “I’ve got to have that rather than anything else.” “That thing is especial.”
Why is that?
Because there is a consciousness of “self.” A personality built.
A preference is not “bad.” A preference just shows a personality.
That preference may not flow along with the way life may flow.

“I prefer Summer time.”
It is the intensity of that preference the one that will bring the intensity of sorrow that we could feel.

“How do you feel in Winter?”
Miserable.

The word could have been “cold” which denotes a matter of fact sensation. To be miserable is to be unhappy, to lack joy.
We need to remember that the issue is not about the words we use but the FELLING that we experience.

Joy is not dependent in outside situations but as mentioned before, it is the consequence of being fulfilled with appreciation and gratefulness towards life.

Appreciation of “what is” develops a different “taste bud” in our life. We are no longer limited to a particular thing or dependent on that.

As life is a big circle; Summer time will arrive again. Winter is the “cause” of Summer along with the other seasons, so why not learn to appreciate Winter?

In the “black or white” world, we have been told that preferences are “bad,” desires are “bad,” etc.
“I must not have desires or preferences.”
Why?
Because the Guru/ God/ holy scripture / priest/ holy person has said so.

That is called repression. There is no need to force ourselves to adopt a behavior which is not consistent with our state of consciousness. That is “spiritual self aggression.”

To observe every change in life, to welcome those changes and to adapt accordingly is to flow with life. Every stage in our life has “uniqueness.”
Everything is unique but we distort that pristine uniqueness when we have a preference and call that “especial.”

At that point, we have set ourselves up to experience sorrow.
Life is unique. We are unique. “Especial” is a personality value, a preference that qualifies other things as “non-especial.” That is separation (duality) and with that separation, the sense of self becomes alive.

A Life Witness

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The keyword to use in “Spirituality” is “witnessing” or to be a “detached observer.”
Accordingly, to reach that state is the highest a human being could attain… :-)

Witnessing or being an observer and participant of life is a state of full integration with “what is.”
The word “detached” adds further misunderstanding.

Misunderstanding will occur if we would allow ourselves to just follow the dictionary meaning of those words. We need to remember that those words are a “distortion” of “what is,” and so will be these words… nevertheless, the sharing shall continue on.

Who is doing the witnessing? Who is being a “detached observer”?
If the answer is “I,” that could be anything but being a detached observer.

Ananda would like to use the words “observant and participant” to describe his realization.

Let us say that Carl witnessed a car accident. The people inside the 2 cars colliding at high speed, were in a “poor” condition. There were tears of pain, rage and fear surrounding the accident.

Carl is a “spiritual” person. Therefore, he decided to send “good wishes” to people in the accident.
It is indisputable that Carl has separated from the scene and made the decision to be a “good person” by sending good vibes and then becoming “detached” from the scene by continuing on his path.

Carl could have made the attempt to “help” the people, but that wasn’t his “karma,” he thought.

Carl acted from an intellectual standpoint by following his belief system.

Was Carl witnessing or being a “detached observer”?
No. He thought he was, but he was actually playing indifferent towards what happened.

To witness or to be a “detached observer” is not to separate from “what is.” It is the complete opposite. To integrate into “what is,” but not as a person, as an “I” thinking: “I am part of everything.”

That is a belief only.

Witnessing is not possible in the consciousness of self. Any religion or philosophy, which validates its teachings on the existence of self, cannot understand “witnessing.”

Therefore, we could see that “witnessing” or being a “detached observer” is not a “practice.”
No one could practice that.
It is a state of consciousness, which is void of beliefs and emotional baggage.
Witnessing is not “attained.” It happens.

Observe the world. If you believe that “I am” something or other, that belief will not allow someone to be an observant because there is the “I” of separation from “what is.”

If we go back to the car accident episode, the minute Carl had the belief that what happened in front of his eyes was “bad” then, that belief will not allow witnessing to appear. If Carl felt sorrow, he wasn’t a witness anymore. His emotional baggage was triggered by the event.

What should be Carl’s behavior then to be a “detached observer”?
To ask that question means not to understand what is being conveyed.
Witnessing or a detached observer is not a behavior.

If Carl has worked in observing his beliefs and how emotions have appeared because of that, then it is in that inner work how the state of integration with the Totality appears, because there is no separation with “what is” when we become empty.
That is emptiness.

Less “stuff “ in our heads means greater openness to “what is.”
Greater feeling of gratefulness and appreciation of “what is” means greater inner joy. A belief will not allow for that to occur, because a belief will give us a static perception of an ever-changing world.

Some “black or white” readers may interpret the above as “it is better not to have feelings.”
NO. That is not the message. Carl may feel compassion but not sorrow.
Why?
Because his state of being, his joy; it is not dependent in what happens around.
To fill ourselves every morning with gratefulness of being, is to fill ourselves with joy and those vibes will be with us to “give” continuously and not because we have in our minds that someone needs our “pure” vibes.

One more time, observe your own beliefs. Observe the belief that we have about ourselves.
Life is an ever-changing movie, which has already a direction, a plot. The perception of the “I” is nothing but a manifestation of that plot through a being. It is through our own beliefs and emotional baggage how a personality is born and with that we deny ourselves the chance to change and to be different. We strive to be the “same”
or we strive to attain some intellectual idea.
Both are not in harmony with the changing nature of Life.
To be an Observant and Participant of life at the same time, is a paradoxical integration of the opposites to be One.

The duality of “Spiritual dog training.”

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Puppy dog training is the type of “spiritual teaching” that most humans are used to.

“Bernie, don’t do that. Bad dog!”
Bernie likes to smell the neighbor’s garbage cans and to “indulge” in its contents.
“Garbage cans are bad, Bernie.”

Spiritual puppy training is on.
“This is good. That is bad. This is right, that is wrong. Move and sing along the funny tunes of this song.”

Human example?
As some “seekers” are observing how the values and teachings from our society have a weight on our beliefs, then one day; there is the realization that a television set is one of the biggest “seller” of that propaganda.

Along Spiritual “puppy dog training,” comes the voice of rigidity:
“Television is bad. Do not watch TV.”
Harry the “seeker” wanted to become “better” in life. Even though he enjoys watching some TV programs, he felt that his enjoyment was cut off when a new belief entered his path: “TVs are bad.”

Knowing that a “pure” God/ Guru/ Priest has given that commandment, Harry’s life became miserable. Harry fought with himself his usual desire to watch TV. Harry felt guilty, low and bad when he couldn’t resist the “temptation” of watching TV.
Harry became “bad” out of his desire to be “good.” :-)

The above could be placed in different scenarios in our lives. There is “puppy dog training” at the office, in the family, at school, etc.

When consciousness changes out of a realization in life, there is no inner fight.
Television is neither good nor bad. Someone may watch a TV program, enjoy it without the fear of being “brainwashed” by the TV.
How is that possible?
When we do everything in a conscious way, with awareness. When consciousness changes and we allow for that to happen, the struggle to “change” is non-existent, for that change is a natural continuation of awareness in life.

If a religious head says: “Watch TV, but not too much for it may brainwash you. You need to be careful.”

There is fear infused in those words.

If someone realizes while watching TV that moral values and prejudices along with diverse beliefs are there in different ways and that person is able to recognize them, then that AWARENESS will bring change.

That is all it takes. Teachings are meant to create the environment to experience. Teachings are not meant to be a dogma of “do’s and do nots.”
However, all depends on the consciousness of the participant, obviously.

I cannot expect for “Bernie” the dog to come up with realizations of living life in joy; but I could make my life easier by telling him only what I consider to be “good and bad.”

When the consciousness of the seeker moves from “spiritual puppy dog training,” then life appears with different colors, besides “black or white.”

Diluting religious beliefs

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It is interesting how a belief in “God” could trigger different reactions in people. Because that word represents one half of duality, then a separation has been given.
From what was shared here last week, someone could say:
“ Ananda does not believe in God.”

That interpretation does not understand the message about beliefs. That is how, these sharings may become less and less understood, more and more controversial… for some. I am sure that very few… very, very few… could understand these limited words by the guidance of their own experience. In life, without experience there is no understanding and even that experience, it is not “the experience,” but just an experience.

The other day I was speaking with a friend from India. She said: “This is where I am right now. That is my perception at this point of reality, although someone could say that it is a belief.”

That is correct. Once something is in words as the “only” way, it is a belief.
Something becomes a belief when it is the statement of truth to follow every single time. Something becomes a belief when we decide to put “all our eggs in that basket.”
That is why any dogma is full of beliefs.

Anything that someone may say about “God,” is just a belief.
What do we know about omnipresence?
Nothing without experience. It is just a concept. If we knew about it, we will act naturally accordingly. There is no need to “cultivate” ourselves when there is experience.
Without experience “to cultivate” ourselves to become a “concept” is all there is. That is the path of religions for the masses.

Someone living and breathing duality, could say now: “Ananda is an atheist.” :-)
With that label, Ananda was comfortably put into the container of duality.

Ananda is neither a believer nor a non-believer. Do not place me into a container for your own comfort. Is Ananda an agnostic?
Just to stop the labeling….Yes and No.

Everyone has a belief which is so important for our perceived well being, which triggers a strong reaction.
If I write about predestination and the illusion of free will, then self proclaimed atheists may feel that this blog is no longer useful for them.
That is all it takes.

The interesting part about beliefs, is when we believe in contradictory beliefs such as predestination and the existence of a God or “free-will” and the existence of damnation.

Perhaps someone would like for me to go into detail on those topics?

I will not. Ananda respects all beliefs. Those beliefs have a purpose for the believers.

Are these sharings known as “non-duality”?
No. these sharings do not have a label. They cannot be put into a dogma. They cannot be put into a religion. They cannot be put into a box for someone to study, memorize and believe in it.

All Ananda is sharing is his own experience.

Any belief becomes a hurdle that will need to be overcome in order to face, that which is known as the “self.”
Without being able to see that “self” without the curtain of beliefs; to observe the self completely naked, as it is may be very difficult.

When the Buddha mentioned that “he does not deal with God” and that was interpreted as “atheism,” by popular understanding, then perhaps now, we could see that he was misinterpreted.

A belief in God or atheism distracts from self-discovery.
That is the path of “non-duality,” to let both concepts aside… BUT, it is not “non-duality.”
The age of duality is changing into non-duality.

Self-discovery is not a concept, a belief or an intellectual philosophy.

Interestingly, the experiences of the Buddha were made into “Buddhism” and with that, his personal experiences and self-discoveries, were put into a dogma for followers. Every religion has that same destiny.

Shall we put the discoveries of Ananda into Anandism?
That will be very lame. That lacks total understanding of what is being shared.

We need to discover for ourselves. Self-discovery.

In the “world at the office” we are told not to “re-discover the wheel.” In the world of self-discovery unless we experience something, we will not understand. We need to “re-discover the wheel” and then we will use our own words to describe that discovery.

However, those words are not the “truth” but a distortion of “what is.”
Is Ananda sharing distortions then?
You bet… but at the same time, how could I share something? :-)

With that understanding,we may be in the same page now.

Beyond our limits

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Let us say that the world is a “shoe box.” There is “John” all by himself in it.
What would be “moral or immoral” for John? What would be “right or wrong” for John?
Answer: What he believes to be.

Let us say that there is another person who joins John later on.
What would be “moral or immoral” to do? What would be “right or wrong” to do?
Answer: it depends on their belief.

Besides beliefs, there are matter of fact consequences. John may enjoy the company of that other being for he was alone before, but at the same time, John likes to have his own space all for himself.

If john was a “black or white” type of individual; he will either choose to be alone or to have company. There is no awareness of integrating both experiences without choosing.

The paradoxical and beautiful thing about the world is that every moral value, every belief system that someone may cherish as “truth” is contradicted by another living species in Nature.
Do you think that a caste system, a hierarchy based on being born in certain social class is “bad”?
Take a look at bees and ants.
Do you think that family life is a thing of the past?
Take a look at how wolves live.
Do you think that to be a loner and to mingle with the opposite gender just to procreate is to take advantage of someone?
Take a look at the life of tigers.

If we observe life as it is in Nature and not the artificially created “world at the office,” we will discover those beautiful contradictions, which make this world what is.

What could be God’s law then, in the observation that every species of “his” creation acts contradicting any written law that could ever be?

Perhaps there is a law for every species?
Perhaps.
I have not seen any written codes of conduct for Tigers yet. But because there is that diversity around, could I make myself such a narrow minded, judgmental person who takes sides to label something as “good or bad”?

If there was a law of “good and bad” coming from God himself wouldn’t that be a contradiction of what already exists?
That is why many individuals have decided to create their “own world” in their own “shoe box” to fit their beliefs as “righteous” in their world.

As John’s “shoe box” becomes populated, there is obviously a problem of “logistics” in the human world that animals are unaware of.
Thinking, logic, analysis creates that contradiction which a human being will pretend to resolve through moral standards.

An animal adapts and harmoniously is able to live in balance with its surroundings.
A thinking, “rational” human being is unable to adapt like that.

The question is not “why is that?” because that will take our logic and rationality into greater contradictions.

The point is to observe, feel and act.

Nature has a completely different way of manifesting beyond logic, rationality and belief systems… well beyond our “office world” morality.

The “world of the office,” John’s “shoe box” has rationality, analysis, judgment, comparisons, separation, and, ifs, or, not … computer operations, that we have learned to troubleshoot by breaking the problems in “halfs” until we discover the “culprit.”

Nature does not work like that.

Which world do we choose?
Wrong question if we could see beyond duality, but a rational “good” question for those who cannot.

Integrate everything. Welcome the “office world” and Nature. Experience both.

At that point, we could understand practically that “God” could never have given us any laws to be followed, but to allow us to make sense of things for ourselves…Not intellectually, but by using our “instincts.”
That is insight, intuition, love for the Totality, appreciation of what is, gratefulness and a sense of balance.
When we discover in ourselves what is beautiful, then we have discovered what we have in common with “his” creation.

Surrender to the adventure

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Shall we live life with worries and thoughts about an “uncertain future”?
Shall we live life with the thought that at every moment someone is taking advantage of us, trying to get something from us, etc.? Shall we live life thinking that someone is watching us just to make sure that we get “punished” for the “wrong doings” of tasting the different flavors that life brings and offers “free of charge”?

Many individuals “think” Yes, we should.

We should worry about the future. We should “control it,” be “careful” and get life insurance for the afterlife as well.
Don’t get in trouble. Don’t make waves. Don’t ask anything from anyone. Mind your own business…
And yet… those individuals live in constant fear.
Fear is their life.

That is when God as the ultimate source of “insurance” came into the game.
Pray to Him.
Ask Him.
Remember Him.
Do something nice to gain His favor. That is, “love” Him.

To open ourselves to the adventure of living life is to discover our own limitations, which are not allowing us to connect with the Totality, with everything.

Discover your own shortcomings. Observe how the sense of “self” is a limit.

As we discover those limits, an automatic openness in our attitude arrives, and we will no longer see life as “harsh” and to try to ”protect ourselves” from a harsh environment.

Do we want to be only around “nice people” ?
Do we want to create our “safety net” of individuals to belong to so the rest could be “safely” rejected?

When the seeker is a “child” in consciousness; that help is required. It is the starting point. God may be needed to feel protected, secure, loved.

If the child ever decides to grow up and open his consciousness to more than “self-absorption” and to learn to adjust, change and balance his life with the rhythms of the Ocean of life itself….
Then that child needs to get out of the safety of his bathtub someday.
The bathtub of beliefs. The bathtub of traditions. The bathtub of duality. The bathtub of ideologies.

To live in balance means to harmonize the physical with subtle energies, to be able to change, adapt and modify according to the song of the day.

That is not a child’s work.

It is that flexibility which will allow someone to wake up everyday and be grateful to the new adventure of the day, which is right before his own 2 feet.

Break that shell of beliefs and come out from it victorious, just to taste the light of the adventure of living life in joy.