“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. 🙂
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.
What we consider a “problem” or “normal” or supranormal” is just a particular experience in the total range of experiences. Those experiences will change as everything in Life changes albeit, in their own time which is beyond human control, thus destiny.
Destiny is what makes us all ONE.
Let me illustrate an example of the different ranges of human experiences, through the experience of Sexuality: Fear, frigidity, pain, premature ejaculation, dissatisfaction, numbness in the vagina, sexual addiction, lust, spermatophobia, feeling guilty, feeling wasted, pleasure, full body arousals, deep relaxation, energetic boost, feelings of love, blissful ecstasy, union beyond the corporeal…. That is a vague description of diverse ranges of experiences in human sexuality.
A “Black or white” mentally driven society or religion could label sex as “bad, dirty, lowly, sinful;” however, observe that sex is a different experience according to where we ARE in the range of experiences of human sexuality.
Likewise, a business oriented guru may say that “sex should be good, healthy, blissful and holy for all.” If you pay him a “love offering” he may teach you the “secrets” so you too could enjoy the benefits of long, blissful sex.
The issue is that ALL are not at the same point of the range of sexual experiences. Moreover, the teachings will be only techniques and mental information which do not affect or change BEING at all.
As you ARE (BEING,) so your experience of sexuality.
Most everyone wants a fulfilling, loving, blissful and ecstatic sexual experience. That is not possible.
Because everyone is in a different level in the range of experiences. Life is about experiences and those are diverse like human beings. Although, we could be “successful” in other things at the “office world.” 😉
Knowing is BEING and unless we know, we are not living.
To gather information through books, talks, etc. is not KNOWING in Life. KNOWING is BEING it.
That is why, every attempt to clarify “spiritual” (Life) things through holy books or best-sellers will only create confusion, different interpretations.
For example, we hear “ Open your heart.” That is a basic phrase in the “spiritual lingo.”
Actually it only means what you interpret it to be. Moreover, can you explain how to “open your heart”? Are you sure that your experience is fitting those words? Is your experience the only type that could happen to “open your heart”?
Observe how vague a “solution” word could be. How easy it is to throw that word out there to solve other people’s problems, but to practically fail in our own.
“Open your heart” is meaningless, but yet we believe to have the answer to the “problem.”
Observe the changes within you. BE AWARE of the changes.
Life will bring experiences. We bring biased meaning to them. Experiences are like horses in a carrousel (merry-go-round.) There are different colors of horses, different positions or shapes of horses. We will go through all of them. When we put labels or ideas to reject or accept a particular horse, we are creating our own hell, as we have to go through all of them.
BEING is KNOWING, when we are AWARE that we ARE, we KNOW, we ARE living. Without AWARENESS we are “sleeping,” death already without dying; no matter how active our “calendar of activities” is…
Observe the Life of a public “famous” person, a “star.” Without a doubt, he has experienced ups and downs in his lifetime.
Beauty, fame, power, health, joy and wealth had different intensities throughout his life. There is no point in time where everything was all there, unchanged as if he had “arrived.”
There is no point in time where a person is the “same” all the way until death arrives. This is a fact.
A what point in Life, that person was “improving”? It just depends on what someone looks at. Some examples of “improving”:
Did he settle with one partner rather than many? Did she take up yoga and meditation as part of her life style? Did he sell 1 million copies of his best seller book? Was she inducted in the rich and famous hall of fame? Are those singular things “improvement”? It is relative. Life is bigger than any single improvement.
Life cannot be compartmentalized, cut in pieces, but we do it in our minds, so “improvement” happens as an ideal to strive for.
That ideal will create in turn the duality of “success and failure.” We are sold on that one. The fiction of success is as real as failure.
Observe the artificiality of all. That is how we live Life, believing that our mental creations, ideals are Life.
In Life, the word “improvement” does not exist. It is not needed as Life has its own movements, as shared before; the full range of experiences entails to go through the 2 sides of a duality.
How does it “work”?
Observe any “positive” virtues or qualities in your favorite actress. The potential for the “negative” opposites is there as well. As a matter of fact, it will be experienced by that person at different times of her current existence or it was in another Life experience , or it will be in the future.
The full range of experiences needs to be experienced. BEING all of those.
That is how we have a variety of people in the world, experiencing a piece of the diversity of the ranges of experiences.
Our conditioning is ready to label and judge their experiences as “good or bad.” It does not matter. Our morality is worth diddly-squat in the way Life moves.
That is why it was shared that enjoyment of the experience is important. That quality of enjoyment is how we “become better.” (Those are not the most accurate words to use, but for the sake of being understood or misunderstood.)
That quality of enjoyment does not depend on what we have, what we earn, where we are in society or how we behave in society.
It all depends on how AWARE we are.
Greater conditioning, means less capacity for enjoyment.
Because we have learned all those sacred “go getter” keywords that we would like to “achieve” in Life to “make it worthwhile,” to find a “purpose.”
That is garbage.
Enjoy Life. Be open to the diversity of it. Expect the unexpected without judgment, without trying to “make sense.”
It is that sense the one that has been conditioned.
Live today, die tomorrow. No big deal. Have you enjoyed the ride?
Yes? Then there will be fulfillment. Nothing is missing.
If we try to “practice” any of the above, we will be fakes for we will try to “accomplish” that thing which looks good for ME… I’ve got to have it! (back into the conditioning of society.)
That “practice” could be made into a religion or some “system” to “help people” and to help MY pocket…but it is completely artificial.
BEING changes through AWARENESS. Give yourself an ample space of solitude to observe the movie of Life. It is in that observation how we learn from the actors of Life and enjoy their unique parts. The plot will keep on changing, but as long as we OBSERVE it without judgment, we will enjoy it… and improve by DOING nothing. 🙂
“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.
Joe feels depressed. He is disappointed by the experience of Life. He cannot believe that Life is so short and full of troubles, never ending struggle just to meet death at the end. The idea of being inside a wooden casket and seeing all pitch black from there is frightening. He becomes a seeker…
Tina was minding her own business, busy with things to do and places to go. One day through a dream she had an experience: She was speaking with a beautiful being. “He” was a peaceful white light in human form. It was very soothing to hear his voice. He had a message for Tina: “Tomorrow you will know more about me, little child.” The next day Tina met some people, who had the same experience. Tina labeled that experience as “meeting God” due to the support of others “chosen” ones. She became a seeker…
Ralph was born in a religious family. He knew about God. He knew about being a sinner and even though, he didn’t care much about it; he believed in that. It was his conditioning. There was nothing much going on in Ralph’s life. It was a mediocre experience for him. One day he meets some people in a party. These people looked very happy. Ralph wanted that for him. They told Ralph that they have found happiness in their church. Ralph became a member of it. Ralph became a seeker…
The stories may change. The common denominator is that either the seeker wants something more than themselves: To become better, to know the “truth,” etc. or they desire a relationship with the highest being, the highest power, to be “someone” by default of a relationship with the “highest” thing ever.
They are looking for “union” with something “better” than themselves, that ambition will give them a sense of purpose.
That is how Yoga arrives in their lives.
Every deistic religion is a form of yoga, for the ultimate is to be close to God, be equal to God, fused with God, in the grace of God, one with God, etc. The label “God” has such importance in this path.
Every form of Yoga has a common characteristic: To increase the ego of the seeker as the idea of “becoming better” is infused in the participant.
The striving of becoming some ideal, is a form of ego. The ego wants “some of that” to increase its own appreciation, importance, self-respect, etc.
Every yoga path, has a particular practice which separates the participant from everyone else, that is what makes them “better.” Even if it is about performing a physical asana in the yoga studio: That practice gives you a title: “Yogi,” it gives you a sense of belonging to a special circle where “yamas and niyamas” are dutifully practiced, separating you from the rest. “You” are “special.”
That feeling of being “special” will give the seeker a sense of purpose, motivation, an objective in Life to be “better” and to reach to the “top,” just like in the “office world.” But this is even “better,” for it is no mundane stuff. It is “spiritual,” “divine.”
The seeker starts by increasing his ego. Why?
Because as mentioned before, the most important aspect of any religious/ spiritual path is for the participant, to be aware of ego, the “I.” That is the common link of any path.
The easiest way for self awareness to occur is by increasing ego.
Unfortunately, many seekers are not conscious of this and rather believe in their own self-importance, self-righteousness.
Nevertheless, the struggle to become “better” has started by separating ourselves from mainstream. That is what a religion/ spiritual path brings, a different perspective so we could look at our conditioning, what we have learned in mainstream society.
This great “tool” is overlooked and instead it becomes a lifestyle for many, where to be “right” and close to God is believed to be achieved through certain practices, DOINGS, etc.
A path of yoga is without a doubt a necessary path for many to un-condition from the “office world;” it is a subtle continuation of the idea that our society has about the importance of achievement, to become better, higher, more powerful. That is why, this path is readily understood by the majority and part of their “spiritual” journey. 🙂
Because our society is living in the mind, we tend to hide our emotions as dust is hidden under a carpet.
To promote that humans are “rational” beings may be a lie. In the “office” world we may act rational but not in “real Life.”
For instance, we may know that death will arrive sooner or later. If a son dies before the father, we may label that as “untimely” or “premature.” Our minds have an expected pattern. If the father dies before the son, even though the pattern has been respected, even though the son knows the father will die first; when the day comes for the father to depart, the son may break down emotionally.
Where is the “rationality” then? Isn’t death natural? The solution may be in taking refuge in the “future.”
A religion may talk about the “future.” “Now” does not matter. The “future” is important. Many things could happen to a person “now” but forget about it. This behavior closes the capacity to feel. It is the perfect scenario to put up the “tough” face despite living with a melting heart.
In the opposite side, a “self-help book” may acknowledge our emotional side. “It is OK to express how you feel,” nevertheless; the trauma created is unexplored.
If a child is aware that his father has passed away, we could tell him: “God has called your daddy.” Frustration and anger may develop in that child for that idea of God, but our belief may be that we are helping him to deal with his pain.
We are incapable of explaining that death is as natural as living and death can arrive to anyone at any time. Because “you” are here now, “you” will not be. Simple, rational.
Give him a hug with empathy, allowing him to feel support. That is compassion when it is no rehearsed.
As everything in Life, every experience will go away, and we will move on, we will evolve… unless we decide to keep that experience as a trauma.
That is my recent discovery about Life: Be there emotionally, allow the inner child to express, but at the same time, be there rationally, allowing the inner parent to hold the child. Both archetypes are inside us.
One more thing: The only time that matters is the “now.”
The past or the future are for the mind. To be in the “now” means to be “out of the mind.” For that, we may embrace “what is” without looking for explanations or pretty beliefs to cover things up…. We may express our feelings and compassion “now,” in that way; rationality embraces emotionality and both together may heal and integrate into the Totality. As individuals we can only see biased fragments of the Totality, that distortion creates the trauma of the “I.”
Thus, integration into the Totality is how the “I” is healed, for it means to see the Ocean rather than segmenting it and focusing only on a drop of it.