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.
Just as Justice is an ideal, a pretty word, a political correct term, a word worshipped by all “who are seeking freedom, peace and harmony in the world”… Similarly, freedom, peace and harmony are more ideals to strive, to achieve, concepts to define… food for the busy mind.
Is man a free being?
“Well, we just celebrated 4th of July, the day of American independence. Of course, those living in America are free men since 1776.”
What about black men? Weren’t they slaves even after “independence”?
What about homosexuals? Do they have the same rights as “free” men?
Any other label to divide?
The ideal is there. We could celebrate it, but reality is something different.
Observe the limits of freedom: Gender, race, nationality, etc, etc. The definition of what “men” are is feeble and so is the ideal.
In the consciousness of most, to be “free” means to roam around as a wireless signal. That is the extent of freedom most people are aware of.
There is also freedom from the known. That is for the few.
That is the freedom from beliefs, traditions, isms, dogmas, etc.
You could be confined, but still free.
There is also the freedom of not BEING. That is to BE the unexpected, the unusual, the formless like the waters of the Ocean.
That type of freedom is known by even fewer.
Are you free to select your type of freedom?
For most, as long as you can roam around, everything is OK. Most care less if they are slaves of the TV, the religion, the office routine, the entertainment, junk food, the drug industry, the marketing for the masses. Paradoxically, those same individuals are proud of their “freedom.”
What about Peace? Same ideal.
No wars equal peace for most. Even though most don’t say “hello” to a stranger anymore for fear. Is fear a conduit for Peace?
Is the ideal of peace something to attain? Something to work on? Something to teach to others?
We are teaching fear, we watch fear as entertainment through all forms of violence. Fear is taking away our freedom.
As long as there is fear, there cannot be peace nor freedom.
What fear? Fear of thy neighbor. Fear of death. Fear of being alone. Fear of god. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not fitting in… Fear of living day by day.
Fear is not an ideal. It is a reality. If we do not face that reality in ourselves then freedom, peace and harmony can only be pretty words to talk about.
Yes, I could repeat to myself: ” I am a peaceful being,” but until “I” face the reality by being AWARE of it…we will smell fear, the “reality” behind our ideals.
Mary was outside her home when someone approached her. He was an older fellow, dressed in a scruffy way, “hippie” looking…
Mary’s mind started judging him. The guy turned out to be a very friendly person. He was new in the neighborhood.
For an outsider of that scene, the “reality” was just a meeting of strangers.
The “truth” was in the way both of them felt. Mary’s truth was to be judgmental, regardless of the external behavior. Whether she is AWARE of it or not is a different story.
Why is that important?
Because Mary cannot possibly know herself without concepts, unless she is aware. Without knowing herself, there is no way of BEING happy. Isn’t that important enough?
Our society and religious teachings will condemn judging others.
It goes something like this: “ You shall never judge another.”
Because it is “bad.” It is impure. Sinful. God does not like that. There is bad “karma” associated with it. You’ll get punished.
If Mary caught herself judging others and she strongly believed in that “commandment,” she will feel bad, sinful, shameful… guilty. She “failed” her “test” with the stranger.
She will promise God never to judge again… but her mind will do it… over and over, increasing her idea of being sinful, a failure in need of “salvation.”
The above is an example on how religions and societies thrive in “changing” others through concepts, by using fear of not accomplishing that concept.
Awareness is not mentioned. Openness and acceptance of “what is,” is not part of the teachings… You must repress your mind before it throws up its judgment upon others… before you get “bad karma” and punishment.
Because Mary was aware of what was going on in her mind, she caught herself. She realized that her thoughts were not “real.” She learned about her mind.
Mary didn’t need to know all the “morality.” Those things arising in her mind are labeled as “judgment,” and those things are “bad, sinful and impure.”
Her AWARENESS was all it was needed when she remained observant of her “truth,” her inner world.
Because she was conscious, aware through that episode of Life, her mind was free from judgments.
What did she do to get rid of judgments?
Nothing. She did not practice anything.
But if you are to call that “practice” with some label, call it Tantra.
Growing up my “keyword” was freedom.
Freedom from the enemies. Freedom to Do what I want. Freedom to HAVE whatever I could get. Freedom to BE what I wanted to BE…
All of those “freedoms” are only circumstantial. They depend on the conditions, the settings. Whatever I DO, whatever I HAVE, whatever I want to BE is only another cage to fight for, to be attached to, to become fearful of losing… The cage is there and whenever there is a cage, freedom slips out of our hands…
Aware of these things, some religions paradoxically have misunderstood the meaning of freedom. For them to “attain” that is a matter of renouncing the world.
In DOING that, their cage becomes their own little world.
Freedom is not a matter of escaping from something and labeling that “ renunciation.”
To DO, to HAVE, to BE … are mental cages. Mind made definitions with borders which we will not trespass for safety, for comfort, for security.
True Freedom is in BEING, but this is not the mind BEING such as BEING a professional, BEING a father, BEING a guru… or BEING God. This BEING that I am talking about is without mind.
A child is that BEING and so a wild animal. FREE from traumas, FREE from hang ups, FREE from neurosis, FREE from the “future.”
A conditioned human being is always looking for security. If a man is in a relationship with someone, he may need a way to possess a woman so she doesn’t run away. That insecurity, that pettiness is called “love” by most. The “proof” is in the emotion of jealousy felt. However, it is certain that this man has built his own cage of attachment and neediness.
Then, his mind always going into extremes; will decide to go to the other extreme: “I will never be in love with anyone. I want to be Free.”
That decision is unbearably naïve. That man has built yet another cage for himself. He cannot be free.
Because it doesn’t matter whether he is in a relationship or not. Both states are cages when we move in the duality of the mind.
That is why it has been said: “Know thyself,” but I‘d like to clarify: “Know thy mind to be FREE from it.”
That is where freedom resides: Away from the duality created by the mind.
Our search for security will kill our freedom to BE. The need for security will create a cage and the fear to abandon it.
A mental “cage” could be like a hotel: A place to be for a short while before continuing in our journey. But, the one who feels secure, safe, at ease and would like by all means to maintain that state; that person will suffer when the time to change arrives.
Don’t we know that Life is change? Don’t we know that Life is completely uncertain?
Do we want to live in our own “little world” for the sake of being safe?
That will kill our growth as humans. Our development will be hindered.
Nothing is secure in life. That is the extraordinary thing about Life. It can turn around at any time and there is no one who could stop it… but yet, some want to fight against it even though “losing” every single battle against Life… While others would like to “hide” and control their environment to feel safe, even though there is no Life in their lives…. They are already death.
In both cases there is no Freedom.
Freedom is not in the extremes. It is neither in hiding nor in fighting, rejecting, conquering… to know Freedom we need to become AWARE of the works of our mind.
A seeker who does not understand his own mind, is only playing the game of self-deception: It is a game with plenty of beliefs and promises for great things in the “future,” but the price is not to enjoy the freedom of living fully in the “now.”
The “golden cage” may be a pretty cage for our minds. But … the best things in Life are always FREE…. Of charge?
No… FREE of mind.
To know in words who we are, who God is, what will be our future, how to live Life, etc. is never going to allow us to BE the answer. It will only give us an answer. Right or wrong… it is all the same.
Fear to live, fear to die will remain despite “knowing” the answer. Then, of what good is to know an answer?
We may have many questions about Life, but lost in questioning we cannot enjoy what is.
Enjoyment is in a quiet mind.
We cannot “make” our minds quiet, we need to allow it to experience that quietness. That is all. Any use of force will be a violent action towards our mind, a step away from quietness.
Here is something that I have learned: There is nothing “spiritual” in just “doing,” in acting to fulfill an ideal. If we qualify an action as “good, spiritual, moral, etc.” those labels are only taking us away from the observation of our own feelings.
Feel quietness, feel at peace and our actions cannot be away from that feeling.
There is nothing coming from the “outside” which can make us quiet, constant peace as a natural state of being. Quietness needs to happen naturally without any type of “effort,” or labor to be “real.”
“How do I obtain that?”
You don’t. It happens.
When the “I” is open enough to allow for things to be as they are, when the “I” is open enough to be at ease with his own company, when the “I” is open enough to invite Nature and its harmonious make up, into our own selves.
That change is slow, for we may need to seek silence rather than noise, seek solitude rather than loud company, rest rather than movement; free time rather than busy-ness…
If we “do” these changes in ourselves to try to “achieve” quietness, peace, etc. we could never obtain it. It is impossible.
Because achievement is of the “I.” What could someone “achieve” if we are aware that we are ONE with everything?
Nothing… but by being separated, then there is an “achiever.”
I am not saying that to “achieve” is “bad,” No!
I am saying that quietness, peace, solitude and tranquility are not achievements.
Those will happen naturally as the “I” opens its own preconceived, structured self.
There could be a method of “meditation for busy people” but there cannot be a method to reach “Tranquility,” for that is BEING it.
Simplicity in living. Simplicity in being… those may be necessary to experience that quietness. This means to be uncomplicated, easy…
Knowing is hidden in that state of BEING.
That is the knowing necessary to live and die without fear.
The answer is there. But that “answer” does not come out of a question. It comes out of BEING.
Batman wasn’t born when he faced his fear of bats.
He was born when he discovered his guilt (of his parents being murdered) covered by his anger.
His anger allowed him to look fearless…but he had fear, and he faced it.
Propelled by anger he could have been a criminal, without that; he discovered compassion. He was born again.
The fear of bats was just a symbol preserving that guilt.
Our desire to become “something” such as “better, enlightened, wise, powerful, fearless, etc.” is the obstacle of being empty of ego. Who wants to become “better”? The “I.” The same “I” who wants to get rid of himself to become “better.”
Every energy that we come in contact with, has a purpose for being there.
Anger, lust, greed, attachment, ego… all of those have a purpose. They are neither “good nor bad” but necessary when we are living in the consciousness of “I.” The purpose of the above energies is to maintain and support that “I.”
Once the “I” wants to get rid of those energies due to feeling guilty, all that this “I” can do is… avoid acting, avoid expressing.
Those energies will be in the person despite his actions. That energy cannot be discarded by willing to be “better,” by “making effort” or by following a method, or by connecting with whichever sacred entity we can think of.
There are many “peace seekers.” The ideal is peace.
Peace is not a “doing.” The absence of war is not peace, when humans live in inner struggle.
It is that inner struggle the one seeking self-destruction.
Under that condition; there cannot be peace but only absence of war as a repression of expressing our inner struggle.
“Peace seekers” are acting according to their experience of peace. Thus, there are some people who will act, rally, proselytize pushing “peace”… and others who will not.
Action defines some people. When their actions are not in congruence with BEING, it is an egotistical action. Others know that BEING drives doing, thus peace can only be brought when we are peaceful ourselves. No need to talk, to act, but to BE.
Anger has a function. We could cover our guilt in anger. We could bury our fear by covering it with a “nice” ideal, a “nice” word such a “compassion,” “love,” etc.
That is the state of consciousness of most individuals. It is about ideals, it is about “nice” words, it is about following a method, a teacher, a God, a holy scripture…to be “better,” to be “more spiritual,” to become “enlightened.”
When we are willing to peel our layers of inner deception, that is the time when we awaken to the reality of our inner dishonesty. That is the time when rather than “practicing” and “doing things to become better,” we face who we are. We face our fears, our struggles not by rejecting them or by asking for forgiveness, but by acknowledging that “this” is who we are at this time.
Just as if we were looking at another person and pinpointing that person’s virtues and weaknesses, we don’t realize that we are seeing what we know in ourselves.
We may need to be able to look at ourselves. Become aware of that which we call “I.”
Then we will see that anger, fear, lust, attachment, had a reason and timing to be there; but once we see them, perhaps the time to let them go has arrived.
There is nothing to do or practice to get rid of them, but just by allowing the opening of that “I,” by allowing for changes to happen, by allowing emptiness and not by trying desperately to control things so they appear the way we believe to be “good for us.”
Life has its own methods. Do not judge the method.
Definitely the above is not for all of us, for we may not be ready yet to “see inside.”
When that “inner looking” does not happen, then the “game” of naming actions and things as “good or bad, right or wrong” will be necessary for that is as much as our consciousness will allow us to understand.
What else could we see, if we are not willing to face ourselves?
Swimming naked in the Ocean was the cure, from the fear of being naked.
Fear is the demon. The saviors are not “out there” but inside that fear.
Is fear “bad”?
It is ironic how that which will help us to be free, is considered “bad” and because of that rejected.
There is no need to conquer fear. There is no “I” able to do that, for fear is not something that could be conquered.
We feel fear, we acknowledge it, we observe it, we become aware of it, fully, without hesitations and without beliefs of what it should be.
“It should be love.”
That rejection will not allow us to become aware of what is.
The same principle, which I’d like to call inner honesty, is very important to be at ease, for without acknowledging “what is” there is no way to be open to what “could be.”
In another consciousness, “spirituality” has nothing to do with spirits, nothing to do with the after life, nor with God and the Devil.
“Spirituality” is about living Life in joy, “now.”
Heaven is “now.” You are “now.”
No worship needed, no religious hierarchies, nor dogmas to believe in. It is the search for Oneness without striving for it, without doing things or practicing things to “accomplish“ that. It is a process, which already has its own destination, ready to be unfolded as the path narrows down into oblivion.
It is truly the encounter of that which we call “self” into its seldom-walked path, called “no-self.”
As we become closer to the reality of “lack of I-ness” there will be acceptance, openness, love and joy without someone, the “I,” trying to “make effort,” to “work on virtues” such as being loving, detached, tolerant, and all of those meaningless words; those ideals which are only existent in the mind of those who are filled with concepts, analysis and beliefs. A word is meaningful for them, but a definition is not the thing. It cannot be.
“Spirituality” is openness of feelings, the heart, consciousness…awareness.
It is at that point, when we could truly appreciate Nature, which is Life in its “natural” way.
As that appreciation increases, oneness with all there is, will no longer be a “concept,” but it will be truly felt, truly experienced and with that knowing, any sort of intellectual knowledge will be completely discarded as superfluous and even limiting.
The concert of Nature, the ever playing sounds of that orchestra, is an exquisite healing experience, irreplaceable, unique and beneficial for all beings.
The common good.
There is no church, temple or worship place capable of coming close to Nature’s beauty.
There is no meditation room able to bring completeness, fulfillment and peace without having a purpose in mind: The “I am meditating because I want this other thing to happen to me.”
There is no symphony of human instruments capable of bringing the spirit of “non-being” completely alive, as a gift to humanity. Nature is the perfect teacher without words.
Every bird, every element of Nature merely acts as it should, without looking into becoming the “star” of the show, or the creator of the melody. No one asks for credit.
There are no directors nor composers, no gurus or clergy to follow, no hierarchy. It is only Oneness without a name, without a title for that playing song of the “now.”
Those who are capable of observing the silent teachings of Nature, are able to follow its rhythms, pace, movements and understand that the intelligence behind it has no name; for every single species, every single being makes up everything there is.
Most humans are concerned with names, labels and limiting definitions; which do not allow an experience of what is, but just a description of what “should be” according to someone. In that world, to follow is a necessity.
When a human being learns to be in communion with “what is,” then there is no need to find anything outside himself…. Not because there is self-absorption, a “me” to feed; but because there is no-self.
Paradoxically, no-self means the capacity to be everything.
It is at that point when we could realize that there was no time when the “outside” was different than the “inside.”
We cannot be separated from Nature. That is our “nature,” the human nature. What comes after that experience cannot be manipulated. A human being needs to have the experience of a human being while being a human being.
As societies and religious groups are interested in changing man into something else, whether an angel, a saint or even a murderer and a corrupt being; the process of taking man away from mother Nature, is unavoidable.
When man loses his roots, man loses his sense of belonging. Then it is an “I” against another and the belief to be “right” will appear supported by the righteousness of Gods and Devils, which are residing in a fearful out of balance mind.
Fear will take us away from Nature. Going back to Nature is the medicine for the mind and the heart.