Some individuals want to be “better” spiritually speaking.
Here some “reasons:” Because they may be causing problems to others without knowing. Because they want to be admired if they obtain some sort of sainthood. Because they are not satisfied with who they ARE.
In their minds, these individuals already have a “role model” to imitate. They have a goal to achieve through “hard work.” They are constantly comparing with others and feeling unfulfilled. There is something lacking in them, something to “improve.”
These individuals cannot realize that those pursues are simple mental abstractions and their “methodology” to reach their “goal” is plain conditioning from society’s ways.
Here is how the “system” works: If we want a “good” job with a law firm, we need to work at it. We think, once we become senior partners, we have “arrived.” We are someone in Society. “Role models.” We have a story to tell: How we went from our modest beginnings and rose to the top in no time… through hard work, dedication and discipline… Very familiar story, indeed.
That selling story is what we have been conditioned to believe as the “method” to achieve anything we want in Life.
However, BEING a fulfilled individual in Life has no relationship whatsoever with the above “method.”
“Achievements” are of no value when it comes to BEING fulfilled.
It doesn’t mean that “we shouldn’t achieve anything in Life.”
That is a gross misunderstanding, typical of individuals trapped in the mind: These individuals will go from one extreme to the other. Go ahead and “achieve” whatever you feel like, just don’t expect to feel fulfilled…
Enjoyment and fulfillment in Life are not “goals” or “achievements.”
Those are consequences of BEING harmonious in Life. There is no recipe to “achieve“ balance in Life.
You just play it by ear. What you ARE will give you a state of harmony or lack of. No way to fake it ‘til you make it….
Many would like to have an infallible recipe such as: One cup of rice, ¾ teaspoon of salt, etc. and “achieve” results without further involvement. That will not happen: In Life, we need to reinvent the wheel, for the outcome will shape who we ARE. Moreover, to reinvent the wheel is how we truly KNOW in Life. The “Office world” sells “shortcuts” so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. To save time, for “time is money.” 🙂
Basically, don’t cook. Microwave what someone else made and believe that you are a great cook…. After all it tastes good. You bought it!
Act like a saint. Copy your role model. Believe that you ARE that.
That is the conditioning that may need to go away before, Living Life in joy is entertained without the idea of “achieving” something.
It is a matter of plain OBSERVATION, AWARENESS.
When we ARE NOT AWARE of who we ARE, we need for others to tell us about ourselves. Because we cannot OBSERVE what IS inside, we need a magical dictionary word to pursue from the outside: Such a “compassion” or “peace.” Once the thing is labeled, we can “work to achieve that.” Moreover, we need to buy a “method” to be “right,” after we have carefully followed the “instructions.”
That is the state of many human beings; slaves of their own conditioning manifested through their minds.
The easiest way to decondition, is to get out from society for some time. Then with a clear mind, we could be able to recognize and OBSERVE the conditioning of our own minds. Society is not the “bad guy.” There is conditioning any time there is a group. All we have to DO is to be AWARE of that.
From that point, achievements will be achieved, without trying to achieve.
Betterment will arrive, without trying to be better.
When we cease to strive, we achieve, without the thought of achievement.
The above may not work in the “Office world,” but that “recipe” will work in Living Life in Joy.
“Spirituality” as it has been taught for many years, targets an infantile consciousness. It is the popular “Monkey sees, Monkey does.”
It is understood that we learn by imitation like a 5-year-old child. That is the need for “role models.”
Have you seen a 50-year-old with the consciousness of a 5-year-old?
They may know a lot about the “office world.” They know how to “make money,” how to be “ahead.” They know that “I” is different than “you” and different than Life. They know how to look out for #1.
Life is for ME to make what “I” want of it. Life is for ME, I and MYSELF.
What a dingy bird!
What type of spirituality will be “good” for that? Do this. Don’t Do that. If you do it, you will get punished; but if you follow the instructions, if you copy the “role models,” then you will be “good.” “God” will have a special place for you when you die while a monument will be built on Earth after you. You will be eternal.
That is all about the “I.”
With that kind of spirituality, “I” have to become something better, “I” have to achieve something special, “I” have to show others my value, my capacity… “I” will continue on even when “I” am no longer here. “I” need to achieve heaven and join the political party of angels and saints…
“I” need insurance for the afterlife.
That type of consciousness is not ready yet for “No-I.” That is the other half of your 24-hour day…
Although we may be awake, we are asleep trapped in the routine of “another day at the office.”
When “I” sleep sound and deep, who am “I”? Where am “I”?
When thoughts come into “my” mind, who sent them? Wasn’t it “me”? Why can’t “I” stop them?
The “problem” is that I call that experience “MY” mind.
“I” have not been trained to OBSERVE the mind as when a bird passes flying on the sky. Do I say “my” bird is flying now? 🙂
What are those things that build “ME”? …. “MY” body.
Definitely, but can I observe that IT is getting older without “MY” permission? Nevertheless, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, conditionings have me wrapped up in MY identification of ME.
Enjoy your body! Only know that it is not yours or you… unless your consciousness is still there with that song… Then, embrace that. Acknowledge it … You are not ready for “NO-I” yet, otherwise it will be a dull belief, another “reason” to be dishonest with yourself. …but it doesn’t mean that “No-I” is nonsense. It just means that “I Am” not there yet.
Emotions, thoughts, beliefs, conditionings are shaping ME, for through them, through that filter, “I” perceive the world and “Myself.”
Take those away, who am I?
Wait a minute, that is not easy! I cannot take those away as “I” take my coat off.
No problem. Life DOES IT. 5 years from now, “I” will not be the same.
All it links ME to the idea of ME, are labels: My name. All the rest will have changed at different percentages which “I” cannot control.
Who am “I” then? 🙂
“No-I” and “I” are 2 sides of the coin. “I” can BE and at the same time, “I” cannot BE. Thus, when “I” need to BE… I AM. When I don’t… I AM NOT.
Who am I? 🙂
What I AM NOT and what I AM. Senseless, illogical, irrational stuff. Perhaps the “truth.” 🙂
Mary told John: “You need to become compassionate.”
John looked up the word compassionate in the dictionary.
It said: “Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.” John wasn’t quite sure what compassionate meant through that definition for he always thought that he felt concerned for others, so he looked for another definition: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
John understood the meaning of compassion better through the second definition. Then, he decided that from now on, he will “practice” that compassion.
Mary had a severe cold. John could see that Mary was suffering. John “practiced” feeling sympathy for Mary. He also followed up with a “desire to alleviate” her cold. “Can I hand you some tissue?” He asked.
Mary saw “improvement” in John. She said “Thank you for asking.”
That created the necessary rapport for John to practice that “compassion.”
He thought he was being compassionate now… He was “improving.” 🙂
Reality is that John wasn’t compassionate even after “practicing” for many months. For instance, he wasn’t able to feel empathy for suffering animals. That wasn’t part of his “practice” of “compassion.”
John was merely conditioned to practice his improved “good manners” in front of people.
This little example, shows how our “spirituality of practice” have been shaping individuals into fake ones.
There are things which need “practice” to become more proficient at, but values are not part of that.
So what do we DO to become “better”?
Nothing at all. The thing is not to BECOME something which we don’t even know what IS, what is the extent of it.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” sounds good to “practice,” but apparently that doesn’t work in a war… or even as close as the “office world.”
The thing is to OBSERVE to BE AWARE of what IS… what we ARE.
WHAT IS, is not necessarily the way we ACT: I can pet the neighbor’s dog and look “loving and concerned,” while inside me a thought could be saying: “Nasty mutt.”
If we are AWARE of that inner conflict, that is where “betterment” starts…. But we have been trained to suppress that thought with a “loving” one: “ You are such a precious dog.”
That is the greatest lie.
We have been trained to add words as “objective to achieve,” as in: “I need to be more caring with animals and people.” This mitigates our sense of guilt, whenever we see that our attempt to BECOME some moral value, does not work.
All we need is a little AWARENESS of the NOW.
Forget the nice words: Love, compassion, gentleness, peace, etc. and the opposite words as well. Those words don’t help at all. Those are only words.
Awareness of what we feel. Awareness of our own relaxed presence or lack of. Awareness of the stream of thoughts and words. That is all.
One day, we may even question ourselves after our observation: Is that ME?
That is a sign that betterment is on the way, without “practice.”
The realm of “spirituality” is becoming like computer jargon. Every now and then, a “new concept” appears. Something that will set the trend for all new spiritual books in the market and gurus to write about and of course sell….
“I try to live in the “now” while practicing mindful awareness and becoming the embodiment of peace.”
Observe the accurate use of concepts. The latest jargon. Impressive stuff to teach to others…
However, that is worth absolutely nothing at all.
Because lots of “teachers,” gurus and self-appointed luminaries; talk the talk but they cannot walk the talk. Their consciousness is not there yet.
Throwing concepts out there for others to learn, is of no use. After all Life is not a University. In a College or school, to repeat concepts, definitions are important to pass the course. Life does not work like that. It doesn’t matter how many accurate definitions we could come up for the word Love; if our consciousness, our BEING, is not Love.
That is why a brainy individual came up with yet another concept to sell: “Embodiment.”
There are teachers teaching “embodiment” of something: Sensuality, compassion, love, peace, nonviolent communication, etc.
The concept of “embodiment” is equivalent to the word I use in these writings as “BEING.”
BEING cannot be taught. It cannot be rationalized into a method. BEING changes by itself through Life experiences.
Karen said: “Charlie is so loving.”
It means nothing; other than support of the idea that Karen has about love. What Charlie IS (BEING) has been identified by Karen with the label of Love.
Please observe that everything we say about others is only a reflection of us, for we could recognize that in others.
Karen IS like Charlie.
This explanation could be cleverly made into another “method” to sell “spirituality:”
“Say good things about others, and YOU will be that, or your money back.”
LIFE IS. BE AWARE. That which we call “I” is not separated from Life itself.
What we ARE cannot be put into words or concepts. It is not for others to say what we ARE. Only we could discover by observation, what we ARE, and we cannot put that into a label (I AM a good person) neither into a definition of ourselves (I am the embodiment of intelligence) or a moral judgment ( I am a sinner.)
The minute we believe in the labels we give to ourselves, we have hindered the opportunity to learn through openness of the “I.”
At that point, there is continuous support and growth of our ego-mind.
We ARE continuous change because Life IS change.
Yes, it is a definition. Thus, erase it from your mind. Discover what Life IS.
Teaching through words, are an attempt to put Life into a shoe box. It just will not fit, but yet; we rely in those words as the ultimate “truth.”
One more thing about Being the Embodiment:
Someone who IS walking the journey of self-realization couldn’t charge for “his knowledge.” Because it is not “HIS” knowledge. It has never been “His.”
Those who put a $$ into their “teachings,” are not the embodiment of what they talk about. Typically, most only transmit second hand information. They charge for their time to learn or get that information, for their expenses, etc.
Traditionally, a master will choose his disciple. To learn from him meant to BE with him. A disciple could accept or not.
Nowadays, disciples choose their teachers and teachers charge for their teachings. It is a transaction.
Do we see the change? It is not a question of “good or bad.”
Life is change. 🙂
Since our society is heavily influenced by continuous DOING, there is no possibility to unwind as a lifestyle, but only for a couple of hours a week if at all.
Some individuals will look for some “practice” (DOING) to allow them to stop for a little time before continuing with the “rat race.”
Others, tired of the mundane competitive experience are persecuted by their own consciousness to look for something different, something “eternal,” “spiritual” to “achieve.”
A society using the cliché “Time is money;” is doomed to live an unhealthy life. However, “time is money” will pay the bills to try to regain lost health later on. That is the irony.
When the “teaching” is to DO, and Life is judged based on the things that I DO; then BEING is left aside. BEING is no longer accounted for.
This is the most important and revealing realization: Our society values DOING over BEING.
That is why, we don’t know ourselves but we DO things to look like a role model.
What is the value of BEING, if I need to BECOME someone else by DOING things?
There is no value, until Life puts us in the situation when we need to “stop and take the time to smell the roses.”
Go, accomplish, become someone, believe that you are important, needed and admired… Conquer the world! (Paraphrasing a TV ad to join the army.)
Once you conquer it, there will be NOTHING TO DO.
What would you DO then? 🙂
DOING NOTHING, at the most superficial level means to stop acting.
As when we sit down for a few minutes to “meditate.”
However, even though we may be sitting; our minds are racing, DOING things. Have we noticed that?
Let me “fix” that: Let me put some soothing music. Let me give you a “mantra” to repeat 1000 times. Let me ask you to think about God, a flower, heaven, etc. to “control” the mind.
If our mind gives up, then SOMETHING happened: We had a wonderful experience. We become believers, although the trick may only work sometimes, we do not know when or how. It just happens.
For someone who is used to DOING things, DOING NOTHING is MEDITATION.
DOING NOTHING at a deeper level means to WITNESS.
Witnessing the “inside and the outside” is a deeper meditation.
But, DOING NOTHING while DOING, is the masterpiece of living Life, YOU ARE MEDITATION, although; you ARE NOT. Hard to understand?
Life itself is MEDITATION.
However, if we are not there yet, we could start with a 2 hour meditation class, twice a week until SOMETHING happens. No refills. 🙂
When we live in the mind, we will rely on information.
Why do we do this?
Because we want to make sure that we are “right” when we encounter something that we don’t know about.
For example, how many hours do we need to sleep at night?
What the expert says? What is the information? What can I google about it?
How much cardio exercise do we need to be lean? How many times a week do we need to have sex to be “normal”?
What are the right kind of foods to eat? What is the proper form to breathe? How do we meditate?
All of those questions are only looking for informative answers, so the mind can be satisfied; but at the same time, it tells how much UNAWARENESS there is. We are disconnected with ourselves.
A what moment, to drink a bottle of soda became more important than to drink plain water? We are disconnected and heavily conditioned, but we thrive in being “right.” However it is not “being right” but just following the accepted information.
When to be “right” is the sole purpose of living Life, we cannot relax and without relaxation our mental health and physical well-being are at stake.
Relaxation is not something that we “learn.” It is something that we “fall into” like “falling in love.” There is no DOING, it happens as we provide or nourish the proper environment. Then, it happens. It is KNOWN.
For instance, to have a busy schedule of people to see and places to go, is in fashion. We need to have something to DO, even though it may be meaningless, still that will offer us a sense that we are part of things by escaping from ourselves.
One activity after another offers no room for relaxation.
In our society, we believe that to relax means to sit in front of the TV.
That will give the illusion of relaxation, because our minds can forget about the self and its problems to deal with Life.
That is not it.
Relaxation implies ample time to observe the self, to explore it and to BE comfortable with ourselves.
What are the benefits?
Conscious living. That is not a small thing!
We function much better when relaxed. Conscious movement is part of it, in this way we could avoid hurting ourselves.
When we are relaxed, we could deal with other people in a peaceful manner, because we ARE peaceful. That is without trying to be peaceful, without “practicing” peace.
Eating and sleeping have great benefits for the self, when we are relaxed.
The gist of sexuality resides in utmost relaxation: That gives the time and space to explore, to feel and to enjoy the sensations; which in turn will give more relaxation, what stops this from happening is our own mind full of conditioning.
A relaxed individual enjoys mental health.
Anyone wants to learn how to relax? Anyone wants to “practice” it?
That cannot be possible for relaxation is a state of BEING and it is not a 2 hour daily practice, although; try it at home, experience the “practice” then there is knowing.
But, how do we start? By DOING NOTHING.
That creates the space, the environment for SOMETHING to happen naturally: Relaxation.
For how long? When Can I go back to my busy life?
RELAX. Take it easy. The answers will come to you not through informative words, but through experience.
To take a glass of wine or beer once in a while, is not a problem. Someone in that experience will not need to know “Dry January.” Those who are lost in alcohol, will surely experience what “Dry January” is. An extreme brings another.
Same principle applies with sexuality and celibacy.
For most individuals, sex has 2 main functions: Reproduction and fun\pleasure. There are more functions in sexuality, only known/experienced by few.
Most men are unaware that their vitality is embodied in their semen. The importance of this vital energy will be seen as the individual ages.
Most individuals are incapable of regulating their excitement and need to ejaculate. Due to the “macho”/”stud” conditioning, many men are depleted of their sexual energy, then; when they reach their 40-50- 60s they lack vitality.
What was the solution for this problem?
Nowadays, it is a “blue pill” which will take the person into further depletion or in other terms: it will submerge the person into greater vitality debt.
Before the “blue pill,” there was the natural means: Celibacy.
It was thought that by “not doing it,” a person will lose interest. Religions tried to sublimate the sexual urge by “purifying” a relationship through love of God or condemning sexuality and the “pleasures of the flesh.”
However, there cannot be celibacy when the individual is repressing and denying his own sexuality.
Celibacy is not repression. However, celibacy could be used as medicine to restore the vitality of an individual. When an individual is running in deficit, celibacy is not a repression, but a needed “practice.”
Some individuals believe that celibacy is only to abstain from sexual relationship with another; however, it is as well to abstain sex with yourself.
Nevertheless, the important factor is for the man to maintain its semen as much as possible, and not to abstain from human touch, feelings and pleasure.
It is easier to maintain a “black or white” posture: No sex, no touch, no pleasure and to disseminate the message that this “practice” is “spiritual.” However, most; at least 99% of individuals will repress to comply with this “spirituality.”
Since the above may be too restrictive; sex, touch and pleasure were allowed by some religious/ spiritual systems; but not ejaculation at all.
What was the outcome? Utter pressure. Sex was no longer enjoyable as someone has to “watch” for the moment of “no return.” Then guilt sets in, for that “failure” and the consequences of it.
The “reality” of human sexuality is that we cannot put all human beings in the same basket. We are all different and those differences will change in time: A 60-year-old is very different than a 20-year-old. A society will teach them to comply with some belief or some moral ideal, but the teaching does not cover to be AWARE of ourselves.
If a human was AWARE of himself, he will know to walk the “middle way” and to put himself in that path as Life turns into different streets. That “middle way” is never the same; nevertheless; it is the natural way. Most are prey of social/peer pressure, collective beliefs and nonsensical traditions which endanger their own well-being. That is the path of extremes.
Celibacy is as good and necessary as Sex is. They can complement each other. It all depends in timing, setting and circumstances. The keyword is “Balance.” To “practice celibacy” means for a limited time. Typically, we don’t “practice” sex. Naturally, we ARE sexual beings, but according to who WE ARE, we could manifest love and care through sex, OR lust and violence.
When celibacy is natural, it is no longer celibacy. Anything “practiced” with repression, will NEVER be natural.
Semen is Life. Through that we give Life to another. Your Life, your vitality depends on keeping that energy.
How many times a month shall I ejaculate?
You are missing the point. Discover what works for you. Be sensible, aware of what your body tells you. Change when there is a need. Forget about the “scientific research,” of what should be “normal.” Feel the balance. What is natural does not rely on numbers and formulas.
Sex and celibacy are the complete human sexual experience. They are ONE.