When the mind is caught up with a duality, it has no option but to choose. Paradoxically, is that choice the one that will bring a terrible fight with the nonchosen one.
Pleasure and Pain are one example of such duality.
For centuries, the religious and moral teachings have been made to frown upon pleasure. Even the word “sinful” has been used to label it.
The “spiritual” teachings to deny the physical world and the senses, in the imaginary pursue of something “pure” in the “spirit” world; is utopia.
Life has many dimensions. Every dimension has a particular consciousness, a particular experience.
To deny the physical experience for the sake of pretending to attain a subtler state of being, is to deny Life.
When we deny Life in pursue of an ideal, we are not living harmoniously in the “now.”
The conditioned mind, understands what is “right” or “wrong.” That is the duality that our minds feel comfortable with.
Throw the word “harmony,” and the mind can only think of that as being the opposite of “imbalance.”
A dictionary definition does not bring the experience.
Harmony is the equilibrium of opposites.
Life works through opposites. Pain and pleasure are opposite experiences which are part of living Life in our dimension.
To deny them to attain the ideal of “freedom” is to become paradoxically, slave of such duality.
Humans throughout time; have chosen to embrace pain, sacrifice, martyrdom as the epitome of goodness, moral, sainthood, etc. In this “choice,” rejection of pleasure has brought an unbalanced Life.
Others have embraced pleasure as a reaction, as to desperately indulge in it to take their painful existence away from it; but as we deny one side of a duality, it will appear stronger in our lives.
Overcoming a duality is not a matter of rejection. It is a matter of balance, that is the ability to live Life in harmony with the internal and external elements, moment by moment. This balance needs to have the capacity to change and modify according to the circumstances, it is dynamic.
As we could see, it is not about defining ideals by embracing some and rejecting others.
As we dare to live outside of the conditioned mind, we will observe that balance as a gut feeling will take us back to the sensation of harmony. In that state, the word “overcoming” has no meaning. The “inner equalizer” will bring the stability to BE life itself. Equal to Life.
How do I get there?
You don’t. There is nothing to accomplish. Nothing to “work on.” When you ARE, you will not know it.
It is openness. There is no method to “achieve it.”
Be AWARE that only something that is closed, could be open.
Your potential to be open, is equal to your potential to be closed.
That is why, inner knowledge is about finding out how closed we are.
But we don’t want to see that. We want the fairy stories of “achieving” love and happiness, we “want” the utmost open state of BEING; when we ARE closing down… However, once the door is shut down, it could be open.
Attachments at any level have a duality within. While we have the object of our attachments, we feel secure, safe, comfortable… Once those supports are gone, we will suffer. Life is change, so change is a matter of time.
Many times those attachments are part of our role in Life, as when a wife is psychologically attached to her husband: Her role gives her a sense of purpose. Once the husband is no longer there, unless she is ready to “redefine” herself, that is to change; suffering is unavoidable.
Similarly, we could attach to ideals and ideas. The pursue of an ideal even though glorified such as “peace,” is just an ideal. Many people will give their lives for those ideals. “I will fight for peace in the world.”
Interesting peaceful fighting. “I will practice non- violence (ahimsa) to rebel against the oppressors.”
Interesting contradiction: Rebellion as non-violence.
Our minds may find those ideas “feasible,” but Life will show us otherwise. Any change without a process is violent, although it could be hidden with a pretty ideal. A natural process blends in imperceptibly.
Change is everywhere, but we resist it. That resistance is called attachment.
“My” physical form changes. “My” relationships will change. “My” ideas will change. The ultimate attachment is to my perception of “I.”
It is that “I” the one creating attachments.
Through “spirituality for the masses,” an attachment is perceived as something which we can get rid of; as in “work on it” to “improve” and be “detached.” That is the intellectual game of words.
Just because we ACT as if a particular attachment is not there, it doesn’t mean that it is gone.
Every attachment that we could observe in us, has a purpose in our Life journey. Therefore, to think that “I must get rid of it now,” is a detrimental illusion. Change happens all the time, but “I” want to control what “I” want to change according to my belief or ideology.
That is utmost nonsense.
Observe that a particular attachment is there. Observe the triggers. Recognize the inner neediness. Be aware of how you feel.
The wife in the example, could care for another person as husband, then the attachment that could trigger suffering, will not be there. This is what naturally, many individuals will do (unless they have a social/belief hang up,) but there is a significant difference: They are not AWARE of their attachment, so the next experience, will be the same as before. However, when we are AWARE, CONSCIOUS we could go through Life and observe the moment when attachment appears and it is through the quality of that observation alone, how attachment dissolves naturally. This is known as BEING CONSCIOUS in Life.
“But that is not helpful at all! I want to change now, I want to get rid of this attachment which is making my Life impossible… I need to implement a solution, a cure… “
Observe your conditioning to believe that BEING can change through DOING something. The “cure” is there; but if you are not able to be AWARE of it, then you may need to read some self-help books, spiritual best sellers (Tip: Look for the how-to titles) and ask for advice to an “expert” who has studies to tell you what you have to DO with your life, for a “small” fee…
There is no one better than “you” to observe “you” and learn from “you.” 🙂
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.
Life is about experiences and every experience is different. If we talk about a particular experience such as “swimming,” every participant will have a different experience out of the same thing.
The collective way of perception (Office world/ afterlife insurance) is looking for some objective, something to attain constantly out of any experience.
Boredom is typically lack of attainment. There is no objective to achieve. Nothing to DO. That same mentality is used to make sense out of Life, that is to find a “purpose” to it.
That mentality pollutes our ability to enjoy Life.
We were taught to make sure that we are getting the” best” out of Life; “milking” Life through constant activities to avoid boredom with the idea of achieving something “worthwhile in Life.”
Take a closer look at that mentality and you will find out why there is so much anxiety and stress in most minds.
Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “loser”, that is without objectives and goals. Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “winner” either: The one who is achieving, getting, becoming.
That duality brings its own issues.
Ahnanda is merely observing that enjoyment of Life is not in a duality.
Have objectives, dream about them. Nothing wrong with that. Achieve them if you want to, but do not expect “self-realization” out of that. Plainly, there is nothing special about it… unless you believe so. It doesn’t matter if the whole world believes in the same thing. It doesn’t make it “true” or “real.” It is only a perspective at the end of the day.
Our experience is not enough. We want more, for the mind is insatiable. We want “the” experience. Welcome to the world of beliefs.
A belief keeps the mind busy. It is the dangling carrot, always away from the donkey. The donkey may come up with pretty good “ideas” and “methods” to reach the carrot, but there is no donkey who has ever reached it, although there are stories about it.
How do I know?
Can somebody accurately describe the taste of a carrot?
That is the world of religions, belief systems and political ideals.
In Life there are no teachings. There are only experiences. The teaching is made up by the student, it is his own “aha!” moment.
If we could clearly see that every experience is different and we can only have perspectives of what we call “reality,” then we could clearly understand that there cannot be accurate written teachings, reflecting the “truth.”
Consider this: The best teachings are never written. They are never shown as teachings. They are never spoken of as teachings.
Thus, if we have “teachings” what we have in our minds, is second rated material.
Acknowledge the experience of Life knowing that it is not the only way to perceive it. That in itself will give us the openness for further perception, expansion.
If we replace our experience with a belief, inner dishonesty is unavoidable.
That is the biggest lie: The one that we tell ourselves. There cannot be “reality” there, but a perception in the land of illusions…. Like a dream.
Your experience is your truth. But it is only yours. No one else’s.
“You should be like your brother, a good student, obedient and respectful…”
Parents may not realize it, but comparisons will leave deep scars in the “bad” son. Correcting is one thing, but comparing with another is only showing blunt rejection of a particular individuality. The “bad” son must imitate the “good” one to fit the standard. The unwilling separation (good/bad) made by the parent with his progeny, will bring further issues.
We have learned to imitate to gain acceptance. There is always a “model” to copy and to follow.
We experience consequences when acting. If we are AWARE we will learn from our own actions as well as other people’s activities. However; that does not happen very often, that is why a “role model” is important in our society. We just need to follow, imitate. That “authority” is the IDEAL, the standard. That person could be an athlete, a politician, a religious person… All IDEALS. Their behaviors in turn, must fit expectations of that IDEAL for them to continue as “role models.”
Therefore, imitation is the avenue for “success.” Our personality, our BEING may not fit the IDEAL, but our behavior must fit in. That creates hypocrisy, dishonesty. Our DOING is not the same as our BEING.
In the spiritual world, we have the image of Jesus (or some other realized being) to follow, even though we have never met him. There are expectations of what Jesus should have been like. There is this ideal of a “saint” which is painted in the minds of mainstream society. Society is interested in the IDEAL not in the person behind Jesus.
We are conditioned to imitate an IDEAL.
Tantra is sold to the masses as the IDEAL of blissful sex. What the masses shouldn’t know at all costs, is that sex is a personal experience. What is blissful for you, may not be for someone else. The IDEAL of “bliss” is sold, comparison arrives and a “problem” is created. Thus, someone should sell the “solution” or better yet, the IDEAL of a solution.
Do you know why the IDEAL of a solution is better than a complete “solution” itself?
The IDEAL continuously sells… we are always close to the full solution, but not quite yet. A “solution” once applied and proven cannot longer sell.
Imitation is based on an IDEAL. The IDEAL is something that cannot be reached. That is the appeal of it. The masses strive to get the IDEAL of a “saint,” a “holy man,” but it cannot be reached for the IDEAL is not “real.”
Nevertheless, for many imitators, there is no better “reality” than the IDEAL.
Living through IDEALS, we are unable to let go of the mind.
Living though IDEALS we believe in a world which only exists in our minds.
For instance, the word “Love.” It is an IDEAL. The use of that word in a speech could make us look “good,” “caring,” etc. Love thy neighbor, Love the world, Peace and Love, Love and Light… All pretty IDEALS.
What is “real” cannot be put into words, cannot be defined. Once we understand this deeply, we will not try to find meaning in the words that someone says, but we will go right into the feelings, we will feel someone and what we feel will not be put into words…. But we will know.
Then, Love may have a different meaning. 🙂
To complete the last article, consider this:
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ( From Batman Begins)
The above is a “spiritual” quote with the teaching to “never give up.” Nevertheless, it is not the complete phrase describing Life.
“Why do we rise, sir? So that we can learn to fall.”
Now, that is the complete experience.
To rise and fall come in the same package. Those are not different things, as we have been conditioned to believe. Being “successful” is only a word that we use to segment our lives. Yes, you can be “successful” at work, in sports, in your family life, at church, and whatever else we may think that we are “successful” at. BUT, that is not the whole package.
What about your health? What about your inner peace? What about your fears? What about your sex life?
Are you “successful” in all those facets at the same time, for as long as you live?
Under the above “reality” the perception of “success” and “failure” will vanish.
Now consider this:
“The true path is to go North. Follow me.” Sounds familiar?
That is incomplete.
However, the sage came a few days later and said: “The true path is to go South. Follow me.”
His followers were baffled. Why is this sage contradicting himself? Logically, there is no “truth” in contradiction! He is not a sage at all!
Which one is the true path? It is North or South? There cannot be both!
The sage gave the full experience: North and South. His followers may need a little de-conditioning to understand that.
If you could walk North all the way on Earth, wouldn’t you end up South?
That is “reality.” However, our minds are conditioned to perceive North and South as 2 different things. The “reality” of their difference is only referential.
Most religious “spirituality” avoid the full experience and embraces only one side of their own creation of duality.
“Do not do this…” This is the “true” path!
What could be the practical lesson out of the above?
Any spiritual path which does not embrace the whole human experience, is only a partial path.
Any religious holy book embracing only one side of a duality, is not the complete path. It is partial. It may have benefits for followers, yes… but it is not complete.
Self-realization is a path of inclusion, completeness; where openness of that which we know as “I,” opens in such a way as to disappear in the immensity of Oneness.
That openness can be labeled as “surrender” ”egolessness” or some other “spiritual” label.
“You” are God, not because you ARE, but because “you” ARE NOT.
“You” are Life, not because you ARE the same as Life, but because “you” ARE NOT.
When “you” ARE, you cannot be anything else. “You” ARE stuck in “you,” so self-absorbed that “you” can only separate from everyone else and Life. The paradox being that that which we think we ARE, we ARE NOT. What you put in words, is not.
Perhaps, this is the main issue with “spirituality “for the masses:
It is so concerned in making believers become something that they ARE NOT instead of supporting the seeking of who they ARE.
When you find who you ARE, you will find all the answers, without asking a question. 🙂
When most “seekers” talk about “duality,” they have no experiential awareness of what they are talking about. They cannot recognize “duality” in their day to day lives. It is just another concept to “talk the talk.” If you wish to understand what is conveyed here, only recognize these words in your daily Life experience.
Duality is the general perception of Life that we have learned in society. It is the starting point of beliefs systems, morality and laws.
” This is right, that is wrong” is duality. “This is good, that is bad,” is also duality.
Any spiritual belief system, any philosophy, any world class guru who explains “his ideas” about what to do and what not to do, is preaching duality… and so, is any God speaking through mediums, holy books or while using words to convey “his” messages.
The most obvious observation is that our language supports duality, so our concepts and understanding will be in duality. Anything written/spoken including this writing, is full of duality, thus look beyond the words to understand.
“Do this, Don’t do that.” “If I were you, I’d practice this.” “This is self-realization, that is not.” Duality.
Life in non-dual. It in ONE.
Do you see the issue?
Life is “Yes and No.” Both at the same time. In practical terms: If we reject something in Life by fully supporting the opposite, we will experience that which we reject. If we support “Yes” and reject “No,” it is certain (money back guarantee) that at some point in our journey, we will support “No.”
“This is good, that is bad” is OK to explain things through the shortcomings of language. It is Ok, to make a point; but if we have invested a deep belief in that by calling it “truth,” we have defined ourselves through that belief, identified through that and since Life changes, that which IS (defined, identified,) will not BE…. Sooner or later.
The complete experience of Life is “Yes and No.”
Life is not interested in conforming with human morality.
Typically, when we observe someone in Life who is not conforming with our beliefs and conditioning, we compare. That is an opportunity to validate our conditioning by judging someone, by rejecting that which they ARE. That is duality.
In Life, while they are experiencing “NO,” the other person is experiencing “YES.” That is all there is.
Non-Duality, embraces both experiences as part of the continuous in Life. There is no hard “line” limiting a “Yes” and a “NO.” There is a subtle process as when day changes into night. Most are unaware and unable to pinpoint when exactly the change has occurred. That has no consequence. What is important is to notice that everything is change and people’s consciousness ARE at different positions of that spectrum. Thus, even though, the labels “good and bad” exist in duality; in another consciousness, everything is “good” as it is, for it will change…. it will not be… 🙂