In Nature, we can observe a variety of flowers: Colors, shapes, sizes, etc.
We could observe new born buds, full grown flowers and the ones decaying. Life will allow us to see the full range of experiences as an observer.
Is a decaying flower worse off than a new born bud?
Observe the range. Every flower will go through that range of experiences.
We say: “Young and old.” That distinction, that duality is a seed for suffering, for a traumatic experience when we imbibe conditionings beyond the label.
Labels allow us to make distinctions. When we give to a label certain value as in good/bad, right/wrong; we will create a trauma.
Life will show us the full range at any given time. Today, “you” may be the representative for young. Tomorrow, it is certain that “you” will represent old. What is the trauma? To identify with a particular, transient state. We cannot fully observe when we identify ourselves with something. We are biased.
To live on Earth; means to experience duality at every step. Our “choice,” our attachment to one side of a duality creates the trauma in Life. That trauma will not allow us to evolve for fear arrives.
Fear brings a mentality of continuous fight to live, a mind conditioned to compete for ideals, or an obsession to maintain something unchanged.
To enjoy Life with that conditioning, with that program; is impossible.
Gradual change in Life is the law. Humans do not respect that. We want for things to change “now.” The consequence is violence. What happens when violence increases? Look around you.
When we observe our thoughts, we may find a new world.
Our world is our thoughts.
You may be swimming in the Ocean, floating, relax and then a thought comes up: “A shark may be close by.” That moment of relaxation is gone. We believed “our” thought and flew away from the Ocean. Did we think this? Did we purposely spoil our moment of peace?
Have you seen a “real” shark? How the association came by?
That is one of the first aspects to know about the mind: It is a repository for stuff we call “knowledge.”
Did you watch the movie “Shark”? That is “knowledge.” The mind will keep that information and it will throw it back at us through association when a similar experience arrives.
If we did not have the movie “Shark” in our heads, we wouldn’t be able to react in fear of sharks unless we had such a first-hand experience. That is one characteristic of thoughts, they come through association. If we are unaware of that, we may call that thought as “mine” as if it was created by “me.” We will obey that thought, for we believe it is “Me.” – I, Me, Mine- a fantastic trio.
Our imagination (another type of thought) is made from the same elements of “knowledge.”
Imagine something wild. Something new that you have never seen before.
You will not be able to. Even if you imagine pink holy hogs, flying around with bat wings looking to eat ham for breakfast… All of those elements in that story line are not “new.” Those are part of that “knowledge” kept in the mind.
Human conditioning has the same path. It is that “knowledge” making us see things from a particular perspective which we believe to be “right, true, valid,” etc.
Many times, we catch “thoughts.” We are not isolated from Life. Nowadays, sorrow is a common emotion, a vibe expanded through thoughts. We catch the vibe. A thought appears through the recognition of it, from our “bank of knowledge.” We IDENTIFY with it, we call that thought, that vibe as MINE.
An unaware individual will start weaving a story to support that vibe of sorrow and then… sadness will appear. “I am” sad is the conclusion of that “I-ness.”
What is the “solution” to conquer those sad thoughts?
Some will use drugs. Others, liquor and escapism from themselves. Others will swear by meditation and medication….
Are you sure that those are “your” thoughts?
The vehicles of thoughts are passing by the street of our empty mind. We label that street as “mine.”
When there is no identification, we can OBSERVE. When we observe, we could be AWARE. Through that awareness, thoughts may appear and disappear… There is nothing to hold them back.
Thoughts are clouds in the sky of our minds. Some will cover the light of the Sun, but they will move away. Even in the darkest and cloudiest day, there will be change. The key is to be AWARE that the sky is not “I.”
This information is only “knowledge.” There is nothing to put into “practice.” Just to be AWARE, awake, conscious. 🙂
Observe that I have purposely used conditioned terminology: Truth, Doctrine and God.
Those 3 words have all the ingredients to enhance any “spiritual” message, to make it sound important. That is the conditioning!
Life is. We live it. We are conscious of it. That is the gift.
To be conscious of BEING, to BE conscious of the surroundings including our own bodies, that is a fantastic experience!
When we wake up in the morning from sleeping, the gift of a new experience is right there. However, our minds will add conditioned thoughts to define our current newness with the past, it will unwind the reel of past experiences to shape up our perspective on things… That is how Life becomes the “same old thing.”
The interesting aspect is that we want to hang onto the known. That which is known to us, secure, unchangeable which basically follows the pattern of our mind: The mind welcomes static things, lifeless things, something that could be labeled and classified as “good or bad.” Those labels will remain unchanged through centuries of conditioning.
“Snake.” Observe the feeling that this word brings, the imagery, the emotions. Whatever it is, the bottom line is: Is it “good or bad”?
We are so lifeless when living through words!
The effect of hanging onto the known brings fear. Our minds are masters in the art of infusing fear.
Then, we search for God, we look for truth, for a doctrine to “save us” to keep us safe, to mitigate fear.
Life becomes a task, a DOING to accomplish that safety, whether that is through possession of goods, the pursue of god or the attainment of what is good. Do you see how similar those words are?
“God, goods, good.” Observe your feelings for those words, your emotions, your conditioning.
Life is away from all those words and their connotation and conditioning.
Your experience of BEING is related with feelings and those feelings get distorted through words, concepts, definitions.
Life is not about static “TRUTH.” It is about appreciation of perspectives (realities not reality) and thus, enjoyment of them. To allow them to change as Life changes, as BEING changes without the need of the artificial DOCTRINE (religious, political) that keeps things under control, to bring the sensation of safety, to calm down fear.
Away from that Life of concepts, ideals and conditioning Life IS.
Appreciation and enjoyment of “what is” without further labels, is the key for change, for self-transformation, self-realization, enlightenment and all of those “good” but meaningless words.
Life is away from our mind driven life. 🙂
“I want to know what my personal situation says about myself. If you don’t mind I would like to share it.
‘Marriage (arranged) happened to me, but from the starting I wasn’t satisfied though my husband is not a bad person and everybody in my family likes him. After that I came with my husband to another country where I met a person whom I liked instantly. Now it’s more than a year but that liking is still there. Now that I am married I can’t express this feeling to the person and ask him out and get to know what he feels for me and whether this liking is mutual. I like the new country, this place and everything and this place and company has provided me exposure to many new things. So I m happy that way.
Now, if i opt out of marriage I would have to go back to my country and to my parents who are quite controlling for my personality. Besides, greater fear is that I would be labeled, as it’s an Indian society. And I don’t know who I will end up with eventually, so that is another fear.’
I understand that you cannot tell me what to do. But please help me understand myself in this situation. Thank you.”
Thank you for your question.
Based on what you have shared and with the shortcomings of my understanding; I will answer this because it may be for the common good. If you haven’t observed your situation, let me bring some points:
You have a pretty good Life. Everyone takes care of you. You probably have plenty of free time, good meals, friends, comfort. You enjoy the new country, you have the company of a “not bad” husband…
What is the issue?
Your mind is telling you that you need something else. Some excitement. Maybe your age, your hormones are playing with your emotions or perhaps, you do not love your husband as you think you should. That is for you to find out.
An episode of attraction to someone flusters your world. You may think that this attraction could lead you into something better, for you have not experienced something like that before. Your mind is weaving the “perfect world” for you with the source of your attraction at this time.
The security of marriage could be one of the greatest jails. It just depends which side you see and embrace.
Observe your dependency. You depend on your husband and your family. You are not free to do as you please.
Sometimes the price of independence is very steep. Are you willing to pay for it? Do you have skills to survive by yourself? You don’t? Maybe that is something to consider.
The mind is taking you to some futuristic events “that may happen.” That is a waste. If the “I” wants to DO something to change things, then that “I” must be willing to fully accept the consequences. This is not about good or bad consequences for that is meaningless in Life. Everything humans come up as “solutions” is dualistic: It could be “good,” or “bad” depending on your perspective. Marriage is one example. The consequences of it are beyond “good or bad.”
Attractions come and attractions go. Don’t think that because you are married or because you found the love of your life, that you are not going to feel attracted to another person. That does not depend on you. What depends on you is the value that you give to that attraction. Your fear increases as your need for security increases.
DOING nothing when unsure, could be the best recipe for that stress and anxiety.
Life does the DOING as long as we are ready for the move. It just takes time, for we take our time.
Communication with your husband may help you. Perhaps he understands the way you feel. He may not be in love with you, but going along with the “arrangement” as well.
Many times our minds are so caught up with human “arrangements” that we label as “Holy,” “Godly,” “Lawful,” “the right thing” etc. that we are unwilling to hear our gut feeling’s voice telling us our truth without using words.
The mind is so busy trying to figure out how we can save face, how we can get away with what we want to experience, despite the lock of the “arrangements” that we have signed up to live by.
Isn’t that the story of the human drama?
You are not alone.
When there is no choice inside you; You will be One with what you truly feel.
All the best.
Many will frown at this statement with disapproval.
The conditioning is that “I have a choice and that choice matters.”
The “I” does not feel good without full control. The “I” realizes that many times “his” choice does not happen or it may bring suffering. The righteousness of the “I” based on some borrowed morality does not fit the intelligence of Life itself.
Plan all you want. Nothing wrong with that. Be assured that you could go tomorrow to “thy kingdom come.” That lack of control, of certainty bothers the “I” tremendously.
Yes, you could be “successful,” yes, you could have power, money and things which the “Office world” readily provides to those who have followed society’s conditioning. Nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, can you be “successful” in being healthy throughout your life? Can you buy your own health? Can you be accident free through some insurance?
In the middle of your “moment of power,” you could have earned a one way free ticket to the “unknown.” All your choices, gone at that moment. Yes, you could believe that your “choices” were helpful to “others,” but that is not necessarily true. Your help to someone may be a disservice to another. Your “help” to a wounded eagle, may be the loss of one of your eyes.
The mind and is petty morality is in trouble as “I” could add more intricacies of Life that the mind is not prepared to confront. It is better if someone tells you: “This is good, that is bad.” Then if you follow, at least you feel that you are not alone.
Here is something to “think” about: “Your” choice will bring “you” your guilt. Choice is of the mind. Therefore, embrace “no-choice.” 🙂
Let me explain:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” A famous spiritual quote by someone.
Is that a choice? If you choose to “practice” that; you will never know what that phrase means.
On the other hand, if you do not make a choice to practice, then through Life experiences you will know, if you are aware of it.
As a matter of fact, that catchy phrase could be:
“Life begins when there is no comfort zone.”
Your thought out choice whether to go “right or left” is a comfort zone.
Of course, the above is not for everyone. After all some have plans and dreams and things to DO in Life before moving on to heaven…
Better “practice” spirituality safely when you have the time out of your busy schedule, get a nice white/black dress and put some feely music in the background, light up some incense and talk about the latest “best seller” spiritual book by some Guru…
Yeah.. that is a comfortable “spiritual” choice.
“I have been asking myself questions and it helped me to come out of some fixed opinions / beliefs that i had in the past. Initially, the fear of what people would say was there, and then I told myself that i can handle the situation. 🙂
What i remembered from your writings was – to let go off the beliefs and traditions when they are not suitable/ logical any more. i did not want to hurt people around me simply because i believed in a particular system and did not want to go against that.
Regarding ‘not accepting’ and checking whether we have ‘not rejected’ something…. They (the psychologists) say that one should give only a positive command and not a negative one. If we tell the mind ‘not to reject’, it will try to ‘reject’ the idea as for some reason, the “no, not” etc. do not get registered in the mind…”
Thank you for your comments.
You have identified 3 key things in your comments, that may help many readers to identify and face their own fears.
1) Any fixed opinion or belief will define us. That definition is a picture that we hold onto. Life is a movie.
Most individuals may hold onto a picture of you. That is what the mind likes to do. If you change, that will be uncomfortable for them to identify you, label you, classify you. Fear arrives when we have greater value of what others think than what we feel about ourselves.
2) To let go off beliefs and traditions is to “un-define” yourself. There are times when to follow a belief or a tradition will be desirable. Other times, it may not be. Those beliefs could be detrimental to our well being. It is important to acknowledge our change, what we feel and at the same time, to observe timing and circumstances. We are not alone, but if what we “think” we are/should be, is not allowing us to feel happy, then allow yourself the freedom to change. Let go off your own definition. Our fear is to change but to remain a victim, a “martyr” is to embrace self-pain. We may need to ask ourselves if we are masochists or if we believe that being a “martyr” will get us some desirable status, prize, reward “in the future,” in the “after life.” The later, is definitely a way to pamper our “I.”
3)Who is giving the command to the mind? Isn’t that the “I”? Isn’t the “I”… mind?
That is the trick to observe.
When the mind knows about the “idea” of acceptance or not rejecting; that idea is practiced. That is fake acceptance.
You could tell yourself to accept, force yourself to DO it… that is fake acceptance.
Merely observe what is going on in you. If acceptance is not natural, there are many emotions that may need to be healed. Acknowledge that, for that is who you truly are in that moment, the “now.” Then, your job is to allow for healing to occur.
True acceptance is not of the mind. Your whole being is acceptance. This does not happen through the practice of ideals, but through the observation, the awareness and integration of “you” with Life.
Psychologists may know about the mind. I am referring to “no-mind.”
The “I” is mind. Joy is “no-mind.”
If you observe yourself, all activities performed are motivated by self-preservation.
That self-preservation could be physical, emotional or learned conditioning.
To eat is a physical need. To feel loved, an emotional. To win a competition, learned conditioning.
Fear appears when the mind foresees that one of those “needs” may not be available, and self-preservation is at stake.
Great fear means great “I-ness.”
Fear is not a “bad” thing. It just goes out of proportion through the stories stored in our minds.
There can be fear to relate with others. There can be fear of being in a relationship, there can be fear of change, of being different.
The “I” wants to remain unchanged.
In some extent, the “vices” are but the expression of utmost fear.
The mind could come up with ways to “regulate” that fear; but those are artificial solutions which are short lived.
At one point of our lives, we may need to sit down and recognize our fears and how those fears are an obstacle for new experiences.
The safety of fear is a conditioning of our society.
To trust Life is a level of safety which is unknown by most.
The “I” thinks that he can trust his control over things and people.
That controlling mind is a sign of fear.
Beyond religious tales on “salvation,” beyond society’s blurb on “morality,” there is inside us a big doses of fear, which is sugar coated with the word “security.”
Do you stay in an unhealthy relationship due to “security”?
Do you keep yourself trapped in a belief system for “security”?
The keyword to recognize is not security but fear.
Fear maintains the division, the separation. We fear what we don’t know, but to know means to BE and that is the journey to walk.
We ARE when there is not a bit of rejection in our hearts for something or someone.
It is not called acceptance, for to willingly accept means to cover our rejection with yet an ideal created by our minds.
We use the word “accept” to understand each other, but when we put that word in “practice,” it is fake. Our rejection will be there masked, sugar coated by a word, the mind.
There is a snake crawling. Did you observe your feelings? No?
Then, perhaps decided to “practice” acceptance?
Recognize fear. Nothing wrong with that. If that fear stays with you as a traumatic experience, as an ongoing rejection; then that is the perfect time to know a bit more about yourself, your emotions, your conditioning, your beliefs.
Do we call that spirituality?
Call it with any label.
As that fear dissipates, then peace appears.
Did we practice any meditation for that?
When your stomach is empty and you feel hungry, eating a little candy can give you enough sugar to mask that hunger.
That is meditation as a “practice.”
When it is not a “practice,” meditation is to live Life in awareness.
Whenever there is awareness, there is peace.