“You said that attachment is the origin of suffering. The Buddha said that the root cause of suffering is desire. That is the second “Noble Truth” in Buddhism. There is a vast difference between desire and attachment. Do you think that you have the truth and Buddha does not?”
Thank you for your question.
No. Ahnanda does not preach truth. He only shares his experiences and realizations.
Take a look at the link below:
Here is a quote from that website: The cause of suffering is: “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.
What happened then? Perhaps this website has the “wrong” interpretation? Millions of people believe in what you said: “Desire is the cause of suffering.” However, that belief even though held by millions is plain and simple nonsense.
This problem arises when we believe what the book says, the guru, the expert without looking at our own experience.
Buddha did not say that. It was interpreted like that.
What millions know is only the interpretation, the translation of someone who may have many degrees, who may be very proficient in many languages, but who does not have the capacity yet for inner observation. Perhaps that was a Buddhist follower, maybe not.
Through that nonsense of getting rid of desire, many “spiritual” people are denying life to their own experience through the ideal of DOING what the Buddha “said.”
Misinterpretation is the mother of all scriptures. Please quote me on that.
Perhaps if you take a test in “introduction to Buddhism” you may have to choose: “Desire is the root of all suffering” as the “right” answer. You may score 100% because of that answer, but know that your “right” answer in the “Office World,” is not so in Life.
We could have many desires. As many as we want. Suffering will kick in when we are attached to a particular desire. That means that we may need to attain/possess the object of that desire to feel fulfilled in Life.
Nevertheless, let me share a “noble truth” with you. Attachment is not the true source of suffering, but the ONE who is attached is…. Yes, the “I.”
To intellectually understand the above, is not easy. Therefore, let us stick with “attachment.” But, if “attachment” is hard to perceive, then “desire” is an easy answer. It will sell many books. 🙂
So what do we take home from all this?
Any spiritual guru or any self-realized being including the “word of God,” are by nature, limited by language. In other words, to truly understand what they are trying to convey, we need to look at those words through the mirror of our own personal experience. If it does not make sense, then that is so for us at that moment. That is OK. Move on.
If it makes sense, then do not try to “practice it.” Allow for Life to work on you and go beyond the intellectual realization, by integrating THAT as part of you. Then, you know for you ARE that. BEING is KNOWING.
But if you don’t understand and you are simply following what someone is telling you to practice, then my friend; you are not being honest with yourself, with your current state of BEING.
You may want to be like Buddha, but you ARE not there yet.
Do you think that practice will get you there?
It can only distract you from what you ARE… until you are AWARE.
Thus, “practice” is an entertainment in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂
Can you Please share your view point and a solution to the following spiritual problem:
I want to get rid of physical attraction from its root COMPLETELY. When we get attracted towards a good looking body, we feel full of thoughts like, wow what a good body, I wish I had him/her, I wish i could make him/her mine, followed by some sexual and normal usual fantasies. There is a huge feeling of discontentment with this kind of feeling, because end of the day, you don’t have him/her!!How to get rid of these two things? Physical attraction leading to discontentment!
Can dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of awakening/self realization help in this matter!
Thank you for your question.
For centuries, there has been misinformation about what is “spiritual.” The belief that a human being needs to act like a spirit or an angel to be “good” has been turning followers into masochists. This belief is so ingrained, that we will not realize how much harm we are inflicting to ourselves for the sake of following some man made, mind conditioned ideal.
You may think that Yogananda didn’t feel physical attraction or Buddha or Jesus or whoever, therefore “I “must DO it to be as “elevated” as they are.
That way of DOING spirituality is pure self-violence.
There is a process for everything in Life. It may be true, that the above beings did not feel physical attraction at some point in their lives, however; I can assure you that it wasn’t always like that.
Not to feel attraction is the result of allowing the process of feeling attraction.
Your mind and its conditioning believes that once you find the method to eradicate attraction, you will be “better off.”
That is an illusion.
Ahnanda knows that to feel physical attraction, is a gift of living Life through the manifestation of a human experience. OBSERVE what it does to you, how it takes you away from “you.” That magnet is not depending on you and your “choices”. It happens.
Rather than tasting the moment, you want to get rid of it because your mind interferes with the recurrent thought of possessing that which attracts you. As a little baby who cannot have what he wants, the mind will cry: “If I cannot have it, let me destroy what makes me desire another.”
That sort of destructive and violent mind is the one creating that sort of “spirituality.”
You feel attracted towards a good-looking body? Enjoy the experience. You want to possess that body?
Tell that person that. Tell that person that you only want her/his body.
Perhaps your mind may learn that there is more than a body to a person. Can I get the body and not the whole person? Why get the whole cow when I can milk it instead? After all Life is about ME… and that is why LOVE cannot be known at that point of our journeys.
Many have gone through that “spiritual” route. Our society allows that. Pay for your desires. There are all sorts of bodies to select from.
Do you want to try that? That is the opportunity to satiate your fantasies. One “solution” is there. What is stopping you?
If you really want something, you ought to accept the consequences as well for whatever they are. Are you ready for that? One way or another, you will gain an experience in Life. Remember: Ultimately, WE DO what WE ARE for that brings full satisfaction.
Physical attraction does not lead to discontentment. The possessiveness in your mind does. Do you want the solution for that? Possess as much as you can. There will be learning in that experience.
You ask if dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of self-realization will help in this matter.
Definitely No. First go into your demons, into your possessive mind and your idealistic perceptions. Don’t run away into “nice” ideals.
Self-realization happens to you. It is not something that “you” DO or pursue for that to happen. So, enjoy Life while that happens! 🙂
Oh yes… As we know, Love is the solution… So you have 2 solutions to your “spiritual” question. 🙂
My question is regarding observation. We talk about observing the moment without prejudice. I can observe river, rain, nature, sky, hotness, kid’s innocence etc. All stuff which I feel that is pure and pleasing .
But I am not sure what and how to observe in office work: The effect of work pressure, achievement and loses,the up and downs in personal relationship. How to observe this without prejudice?
I think of making observation part of my office world routine and back at home when I interact with my parents and wife, but it never happens.
I agree if something needs to be changed that can only happen through observation not by resistance or force, but how to make observation part of life.
Thank you for your question.
Observation is not a practice. It is not something that you DO when you remember, or when you have time. It happens when there is “presence,” awareness, consciousness not only of the external elements but mostly what we call “self.”
Ahnanda is not using the word “observation” under the context of the dictionary.
Any of your senses, such as taste, touch, etc. can allow you to observe or be AWARE.
We can use the words observation, awareness and to be conscious interchangeably. Go beyond words. Are you aware of the things you DO, the way you walk, how shallow or deeply you may breathe?
Why not? It happens all the time. There is no need to have “free time” to observe these events.
Your description of what is “pure and pleasing” and what is “impure” and “stressful” are taking you away from observation.
What are those things making you feel? Become AWARE of that. As you are AWARE that those energies are not “you,” then you may walk away from them, easily, effortlessly or just wait until they go away by themselves. Everything that comes to you will go away, that is one of the things you may learn through observation. That is the natural way of things. If the “pure and pleasing” goes away, then the “impure and unpleasant” will arrive. There is nothing wrong with that, things move away; unless we want to make a trauma, a rejection of a natural circular happening in Life. Through our conditioning, we see 2 different things: Pleasant and unpleasant. However, they are one.
The process of becoming aware is similar to having a nagging pain in the shoulder.
It may not be a strong pain, so we keep on living a busy Life, full of activities and accomplishments. Forgetting about that silly pain. Once in while we will become aware of that pain in the shoulder, but unless this pain becomes an obstacle to get us out of our busy schedule, that pain is not important enough in our threshold of consciousness. We will not be aware of it.
Once the pain becomes unbearable, we will observe it. We will be aware of it. Once the pain in the shoulder is at that full intensity, the intellectual question on “how can I observe the pain,” is not necessary at all. We will feel it. We will know.
That nagging pain is a sense of unfulfillment in Life. Something is lacking. You may be looking for the “answer,” something that you believe observation will give to your Life. The nagging pain (observation/awareness) will increase by itself through your own lack of observation. Paradoxical.
One more thing, Observation is not meant to change anything. It is meant to acknowledge it, while resistance and force is meant to reject things.
So how change happens then?
It always happens. It is the nature of Life. Change may not go where you want it to go, and that is the fear. We want to control in our tight grip what is meant to change. That is the illusion of security feeding the “I” and the driven force behind our human conditioning.
“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.” 🙂
…It is 100% true that our mind brings suffering. With Master Osho I have realized that mind simply has to be dropped in the journey of going closer to Truth or Enlightenment. But what is Ahnanda’s method to drop the mind? Yes, you have suggested deconditioning the mind. There are 1001 conditionings that society has given us. It’s kind of strange and full of efforts to decondition yourself. PLEASE guide and throw some light on it…it will really help.
Thank you for your question.
Ahnanda is not a guide for anyone. Ahnanda only shares his experiences. The mind is neither “good nor bad.” It is an available tool, that is all.
If you find a “problem” then you will look for a “solution.” That is the duality within society. The game of Life is not like that. Every experience makes up the journey, those are transient experiences necessary as they are.
The mind has increased its importance in our society. The mind is a repository of past experiences, knowledge, morality, values, behaviors, etc. This repository brings to the “now” past information that we use as “truth.” The mind uses “black or white” logic to handle “problems.” Nevertheless, the mind is not a reliable “tool” in Life for it can only see the surface based on learned conditioning.
The “office world” relies on the mind. What we come up with as “solutions” is all conditioning, but we label it as “the “right” thing to “solve” issues in society. However, those will become a “problem” later on.
For instance, the “business mind” has brought many comforts to society, but at the same time; its own deterioration.
Someone invents a light bulb, it is mass produced; then it becomes a problem for the environment. Someone thinks about using concrete to build our society, it is mass produced and there are health problems associated with this. Someone uses ethanol to power cars by mixing it with gasoline, the consequence is impacting the growth of corn for fuel, which in turn brings an environmental issue.
The business mind thrives in selling; thus, humans reproduce exponentially which is good for business… but not “good” for the environment.
Competition is about sales. Sales rely on a larger audience of buyers which in turn reduces natural resources. The duality of society: From few to many people, goes back automatically to few once the saturation point of many people have been reached, and human beings are agents for that.
The conditioned mind thinks: So, what is the “solution,” what is the method to solve this “problem”?
And Ahnanda laughs… 🙂 🙂
How is it possible for a non-domesticated animal to live in balance with Nature, with Life? I mean, they must have developed their thinking, their decision-making skills beyond human imagination! Right? 🙂 They just don’t play the game of society.
But, a rational human being who is educated in using his mind cannot live harmoniously with his environment, with Nature. Isn’t that ironical? Isn’t that paradoxical?
Probably you want a 1-2- 3 step to decondition the mind. You already have the assumption (conditioning) that this will take “effort.” It doesn’t.
It just takes “timing” for you to be ready.
Forget about DOING things to decondition “you.”
Does Nature call you? Do you love Nature to the point that it is natural for you to live close to her, with her?
Do you find that the background noise of the TV, radio and human created noises suffocates you?
Do you find that the game of society is increasingly losing its enchantment for you?
You may be ready then. It takes 9 months before a new human life arrives. There is a process. It is not overnight.
But if you force yourself to live with Nature because of some ideal, if you force yourself not to watch TV or if you force yourself to live like a hermit because you want to “decondition” yourself… It will never happen, although it is a good learning experience!
You are ready for de-conditioning, when it arrives naturally.
You are not ready for it, if you want to make it happen, if you make “effort” to get it. Thus, become AWARE of the process and enjoy it! “You” are going somewhere whether “you” realize it or not… 🙂
Since you asked for “methods” below some of my recommendations to observe the mind:
No… Ahnanda will not tell you DO THIS, DON’T DO THAT. Enough for conditioning.
What should the decisions be based on? Why confusion happens inside us? Maybe because we are not connected to ourselves? What brings clarity. Since every action has a consequence and we know that, there is a choice everywhere and in everything. What makes it a no choice, an expression of who we are ? Sometimes there are also compulsions which can drive us, how do we know that this choice is right for us? That it is a conscious decision in accordance with our inner nature and not just a compulsive action? How can we get rid of our compulsions?
Well, one answer which comes to me is observing oneself. Still, I want you to discuss more about it and throw some more light on it.
Thank you for your questions.
“What should be decisions based on?”
It depends on the game that you are playing.
If you play the game of society, your decisions should be based on the conditioning of the mind. Carefully thought out decisions, weighing the pros and cons.
If you are playing the game of Life, the above is nonsense.
You may be able to eat pretty good with the “choice” above but you may not be able to sleep well, and without sleep; you may not be able to enjoy Life.
Sleeping well is not a matter of buying a good mattress and selecting the one with most features (as society may teach you.) It is a matter of having your conscience at ease.
“Thinking” your choices may allow you to feel that you are safe, and on the “right track to success” but that is an illusion for not everyone makes it in the game of society. Too much competition, too many variables, “stuff happens” all the time.
“Why confusion happens inside us?” Because you are not AWARE of the different games to play. Thus, what brings clarity? To sit still and empty your mind of conditioned stuff.
The game of Life entails the recognition of a force “inside” which knows our path. That is not your mind. If you are not AWARE of it, let me describe it with unclear, dualistic words: We can call it the heart or even better, the gut as in a “gut feeling.” This decision is not a choice, for you are not willingly making it, but merely following your “instinct.” This “decision” is labeled in “spiritual circles” as following your dharma. It is a “choice-less choice.” This decision is not necessarily advantageous for you, if you look at it from the perspective of the game of Society, but nevertheless, it is the “right choice” if you look at it from the unlimited view of Life.
How do you know? There are no regrets. Your conscience will be at ease.
Sometimes the mind will interfere to convince you (rationalize) that your choice was made from your gut feeling. That is your challenge and task, to recognize. That is when the keyword you used “Observe yourself” could be handy.
A blind person can ask: What color is the sky? The response from someone who sees could be “blue.” However, what does “blue” mean to a blind person? Nothing. His question is theoretical, for color is something that he does not experience. Clarity is brought automatically, when is the time for that blind person to experience sight, in this Life or the ones after. If you understood the last writings, there is no experience lasting forever, they move from one side of the range of experiences into the other (sight/ blindness) Then, when is his turn to see, he will not ask “what color is the sky?” But before that, he could look for “solutions,” and that is an interesting game to play, which will expand his Life experiences. It is a win/win situation! 🙂
You are asking, “How do we know that this choice was right for us?”
That question means that you are playing the game of society. Do you want to use the rules of the game of Life in the game of society? They are different games!
If you play the game of Life, there is no choice and thus no need to become anxious about hoping to have done the “right” thing or not. If a decision is not “right” for you and this comes from your core not your mind, it is the right “decision-less decision” for the Universe… and since there is Oneness, it is the best thing for all! A win/win situation!
Let me give you a “secret” to ease your mind. Whether you use your thoughts or your gut, whether you make a “right” decision or a “wrong” one, it is still what had to happen in Life.
So put the theory aside, the anxiety of being “right” aside and relax. Unwind.
Ultimately, any path you take whether it was chosen or not, whether north or south, will take you on the way to your destination or your money back guaranteed! – (Just using Society’s terminology for the sake of understanding. )
You asked, “how can we get rid of our compulsions?”
By not trying to get rid of them but by becoming aware of them.
As mentioned before, you cannot play the game of Life with the understanding of the rules of the game of society (get rid of something you don’t like, by hoping that someone knows the “method”- That is a toy to play with in society but not in Life.)
However, you could play the game of society and play the game of Life and enjoy both at the same time… That is a great bargain indeed! But for that to take things seriously may need to be erased in your “inner” dictionary. 🙂
“In the article of “Human Problems” you said that consider Life as a “GAME” and play it, which is a way to enjoy it. At one place, I find it completely okay and valid, and have experimented with it to some extent, but even after considering life as Game, I don’t enjoy it, I don’t find where the problem is, because even in Game there is a fear of losing and ego of winning, a target to achieve, and then the stress about the target, my simple question is what kind of Game is this Ahnanda? Even after knowing that it is simply a game and nothing else why are we not able to enjoy it and consider it a burden or a struggle most of the times.”
Thank you for your questions.
Realize that you don’t enjoy Life despite “knowing” that it is a game. That is all. Enjoy that realization! 🙂
No? Then, become AWARE of how your mind is not allowing you to enjoy through all the conditioning in it.
Social conditioning is shaping your perception of the word “game.” A game is something we do for distraction, amusement, entertainment.
However, in our society a game is a form of competitive sport or play, according to rules to “win” and decided by skill, strength, luck or politics.
You perceive “game” to be this option. However, it is not the only option.
It is your conditioned mind the one that will not allow you to enjoy, for “normal” conditioning in our society expects objectives, achievements, betterment or gains in anything.
To enjoy Life is the same as to enjoy “yourself.” Thus, if you don’t enjoy Life, you do not enjoy yourself. We are one with Life.
” In the article “The game of Sexual “problems” and “solutions.” You have said that “Sexuality is only an outcome of who we ARE.
If we are a pure soul, the outcome of it, sexuality as you say, should also be a pure thing. If we are a silent consciousness, the outcome, sexuality, also should be something very silent thing, if we are an emptiness, sexuality also should be an emptiness.
I am seriously not able to frame my question here but still, if our sexuality can be who we are then why it is condemned, as a homosexual, I have been condemned like hell. Even spiritual people consider it something very unnatural to be sexually attracted towards a human being, is that invalid thing when you are trying to be a spiritual person?”
Observe that you don’t have a question, but a complaint. If you ARE homosexual, then that is who you ARE in a limited vision. Acknowledge it. Society plays the game of beliefs, taboos, morality, etc. If you don’t fit those, you will be rejected. Play the game in society by being aware of those “rules.” That is all. No need to reject anyone, for the game will change. It always does. Have you noticed that every single human being does not fit the “ideal” that society is selling? Ideals are of the mind. Life is beyond the constraint of a conditioned mind.
Label yourself as something (Christian, homosexual, democrat, asian, etc.) and you will have supporters as well as opposition. That is the game.
If “spiritual people” consider unnatural to be attracted to a person, then they are not humans or reject their own humanity.
If a human being denies his own humanity for the sake of some ideal, that person cannot know who he IS. Without that, how spiritual someone could be?
While you are in this physical world, play the game of the physical world, not the game of a non-physical world. To be that honest with yourself is to be “spiritual.”
Of course, naturally someone may not feel attraction for another human being. That is fine too. The issue is when someone who feels attraction pretends not to feel it, because he wants to DO what someone else IS naturally. That is called Ego but also “spirituality.”
“One last question, it is true that even after having sex and masturbation many times in life, we aren’t content with it, what is the way to be content with it, or finding some method to reach a state of celibacy in a natural way is a solution to this? Please note that I am not talking about enforced celibacy here, I have tried that, it doesn’t work in my case.”
Are you making your lack of enjoyment into a problem?
You have some many ideals and concepts in your mind. That is the “problem.”
Empty your mind from so much information, so many beliefs.
Celibacy is the opposite of Sex. That is how the mind works when it finds a “problem” in sex, it goes to the opposite for a “solution.”
In the last article, it was mentioned about identifying the energy of anger that moves most individuals in society. Why is there anger? Because something about a person does not fit the ideal of society. In your case, homosexuality.
For most, Sex becomes just a way to pacify the suffering of the mind and not a way to complete their enjoyment of Life.
All experiences have value for our own growth. Thus, in Life there is no such a thing as “good or bad, right or wrong,” but those labels exist in the game of society. Every human being is in a different position in the path of self-realization. There is variety of experiences.
Observe yourself. Enjoy the experiences, for they will change. They always do, for Life is change. Try anything you think will help you… Trust Life. That is part of your experience, there will be growth through that.