Any spiritual teaching presents a vision to understand Life, the world. That vision is like a map. It brings security to the follower to mitigate his uncertainty; although that vision is limiting.
Why is it limiting?
A map is not the real thing. If I need to explain this further, see Life as driving in a highway. We enter into the highway and the “decision” will have to be made right there. There is no time for questions. No time to review the map. Speed up? Slow down? Use your signal? Change lanes? Slow down to speed up? There are so many variants. Are you looking for the “right one”? Was that ever written some place in a holy book?
The “spiritual teaching” maybe something like: “Be careful while driving in the highway.” Fear is introduced.
Let me ask; is there any meaning to that “be careful”?
Perhaps be AWARE is a far better “teaching,” however; it is another pretty word to say to look “good,” concerned…
AWARENESS cannot be taught. You ARE or you may not be AWARE.
It is through AWARENESS how we could realize things about ourselves and through that “teaching” our BEING will behave (DO) in the world. That knowing is experiential and valuable. It is not second hand.
AWARENESS is some sort of sensibility. It comes when we are conscious of ourselves (feelings, thoughts, emotions) alone and in relationship. The word describing our “teacher” in Life is OBSERVATION.
The capacity to observe will bring sensibility and that in turn will bring awareness, consciousness.
We are conditioned to judge, to follow what is believed to be “right,” which is some script that we have learned from someone. We call that discernment. A pretty word to hide conditioning.
When you know the features in your car, you can use them to ADAPT to the environment, what is happening, the “now.”
Observe the person you are talking with. Can you FEEL his intention, his vibe?
Did he shake your hand? Yes?? He was following the map. You “thought” he was a good fellow, well educated, well-conditioned.
Let me briefly explore mainstream “Tantra” teachings: A certified sex guru is needed. Someone to tell us what to DO.
Step #1: Breathe slowly. Step #2: Move slowly. Step #3: Last as long as you can…
That is the software to “practice.” The teaching to follow to be “successful.”
If we had OBSERVATION, we wouldn’t follow STEPS. We would BE those naturally.
OBSERVE our own rigidity. Our own pre-conceptions. Our need to be in control. Observe the need of our ego to perform to some standard. Observe our inability to feel pleasure and enjoy pleasure with the simplest things in Life: The feeling of water running through our naked body, a caress that spreads to our whole being… Observe how our capacity to enjoy has diminished to the point where relaxation is never felt, sensuality is not part of ourselves. Sexual pleasure is merely an “itch” to get rid of.
That sensibility to feel is gained in solitary aloneness. That is the needed space. Through that gained AWARENESS the “map” is no longer needed. Every moment is to BE in the highway of Life. Forget about the prescriptions, the methods, the technicalities. Our unpracticed, unlearned sensibility will take us places… Just relax, unwind. Let the last second “decisions” come without thinking about it.
“Spiritual teachings” are needed only because we live in the mind, so we cannot BE. Thus, we DO them, practice them, follow them, copy them.
Outside of the mind, there is a world of sensibility, which is unknown to most. How do we call that world?
Sensibility is her daughter. AWARENESS, her twin sister. 🙂 The height of human sexuality is in that “family. ” Spiritual teachings, will tell us to DO what is not meant to be DOne.
Our society is concerned with Actions. DOING defines who we are.
Observe the religious teachings, how what we know as “good” is determined by an action. Our society may need this arrangement for it brings stability to the system; nevertheless, the mind is creating what is “good,” when our feelings may be different.
The above has been the dissonance that societies have been maintaining: What I feel is not what I do; but what I do must be respectable, it should bring some advantages to “me,” except inner honesty. Therefore, let me be an actor. Let me “fake it.”
The “Office World” is sold on DOING before BEING. Life does not work on those terms, for Being means to be one with Life.
This does not mean that the “Office World” is “bad” or “negative.” No!
It means that it has a different way to operate. Most label the “Office world” as Life, when it is only our own little, mind-created world; our escape from Nature, our “sand-box” to exercise control, free will, choice… the “I.”
In my view, David Carradine was an extraordinary actor. He starred the TV series, “Kung Fu.” That series is my old time favorite in “spiritual movies.”
Carradine honestly stated that his Life wasn’t like the character he was playing in “Kung Fu.” Although he was invited to talk about “spiritual” things by the public; many times he would agree to do that as when someone agrees to play Santa Claus even though he knows, Santa doesn’t exist. It is about the fans and their expectations, to agree with the power driven by the masses and to keep a good PR.
Similarly, we are acting Life. We have the expectations, the rules and obligations which need to be fulfilled. The “objective” is to maintain those expectations unchanged throughout generations. Every time there is a systemic change due to obsolescence, there is a clash of expectations manifested through violence in society.
We may be slaves of the system, for our actions will define who we are under the scrutiny of someone else’s eyes. We can make “effort” to comply, but ultimately is the feeling, what we ARE, what will come out no matter how hard we try to put it aside, forget about it, bury it under some belief.
We may live miserable lives by struggling to be someone who we are not.
Carradine knew that he was an actor. He knew about the expectations of others as he was a source of imitation, but most humans labeling themselves “spiritual,” are only concerned in imitating what they consider to be “good, right, spiritual,” by DOING so, Life is no longer an enjoyable experience. For it is about cheap imitation.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” is certainly THE expectation. Who do you imitate? Who do you compete with? That is where the “cookie cutter” pressure starts, and that experience is carried over into the “spiritual realm,” into getting “heaven,” “God” etc.
Be aware that you are acting. The “Office world” calls for that. On the other hand, the journey of living Life has always been an individual experience. What you feel” now” is what you feel “now.” Acknowledge it. Tomorrow it will change. If it doesn’t, you are still acting. Living Life and “spirituality” are the same exact thing.
Life is unpredictable. Life is change. Life is uncertain. Life is a gift to be experienced and to let go… So ARE “you.” That is to BE one with Life.
Carmen is a new parent. She said to me: “No one is teaching me how to be a parent… this information should be pushed into the school system and beyond.”
Even though she has “good intentions” behind her statement; observe that she is already caught up with the system: The information on how to be a parent is pushed from another source, to be “right.”
Carmen was praising all the books that she read which “helped her” practically.
Carmen read a book about “a prosperous attitude towards money, so money could flow in life, by getting rid of different beliefs that she was inculcated when she was a kid,” However, my friend could not use that information into her parenting situation.
Carmen lacked Life experience. She has theory in her mind, a very good paragraph of “wisdom,” but she is unable to apply it in different aspects of her Life.
Most human beings have developed many traumas when children. Parents did the best they knew; but that wasn’t enough. Hang ups, taboos, beliefs and so on were transmitted from their parents. Therefore, that is what will be transmitted to their kids. It is unconscious. Why? Because we are not aware.
Many times a child will be rebellious towards his parents. He will not go along with their “ideas,” unfortunately; that child does not realize that to reject his parent’s ideas will only make that trauma stronger. There is no experience of that, no awareness.
Then the “traditional good idea” comes. “If I knew how to be a parent, I will help others to do the same.”
That is very shallow. This is not just information that we pass along like in the “office world” when we get ready to take a test to be a “certified” parent.
Your awareness is needed. If you are aware of the baggage inside you, you will start with you. Look at your issues. Then, your “true self” will be displayed for your kids; not the behavior which you learned in a book, which is not truly you. Just because you know information, it doesn’t mean that you ARE that.
I am not saying that we should wait until we solve our internal issues to become a parent either. This is not a “black or white” “solution.” Just be aware that as you ARE, you will be matched by Life with a partner and that is what is “right” for you. That experience will teach you something, and then your consciousness will move on until… you are able to see yourself as you ARE: Then the process of dissolution of ego starts.
“But how do I help others?”
By allowing them to go through their own process in Life. That is free of judgments.
Let me be clear: The thought of helping others or teaching others, is just self-gratification. Life puts the teacher when the student is ready; BUT neither the teacher nor the student know about those labels, so they are free from the cage that those labels imply. It is that freedom what makes the internal change.
The word “marriage,” is just a symbol. The experience of the word “marriage” is different among individuals. We could define “marriage” but that definition may not fit the feelings of some individuals. A definition restricts, encloses an experience.
The “office world” is plentiful of symbols.
Have you seen a $20-dollar bill?
That is a symbol. The value “20” could mean anything, but it is defined through comparison with other bills. “Value” is the new symbol. That is exactly what we do when we judge another person, when we compare ourselves with another through our “value.” The mind uses symbols to live Life, nevertheless; that is an artificial Life.
Did you know that numbers do not exist in “real Life”?
You see 7 trees. The mind is counting. So what?
“Those 7 trees mark my property. I could sell each tree for $100 dollars each and give a discount of $5 for the purchase of quantities above 2. What a bargain!”
Consider this: “Your property,” “dollars,” “bargain,” “discount,” are ideas created to live our “office world” under certain premises, under certain conditioning.
When we start awakening, symbols will be recognized and thus let go.
Because the mind defines everything it perceives.
“But that is good! That give us certainty. That give us the ability to communicate according to established, defined patterns…”
That is correct, but at the same time; it is not “real” just symbolic.
Trees cannot exist without sunshine, without proper soil, without air… The manifestation that we see is labeled as the “tree,” but the inter-relatedness of everything that makes the tree is forgotten. There is more than a tree in a tree… There is a “four” … 🙂
What is the practical realization of the above?
In Life what you feel is “real.” In the “office world,” thoughts, concepts, ideas, ideals are “real.”
Definitely different worlds.
“I don’t get it… what is the brilliant discovery?”
The “office world’s gurus” dictate: “Choose to be happy.” Tell yourself: “I choose to live in gratitude and joy at every moment in my Life.”
Does it work?
Nope. Just words, symbols. Although good enough ideas for “best sellers.”
“Why it doesn’t work?”
It is the mind behind it, not the feelings.
Happiness is a feeling. Happiness is not a “choice” which is a thought.
“Choosing” between “happiness” and “sorrow” is about choosing between symbols, words; but the true experience which is a feeling is overlooked.
A thought cannot change a feeling. Different worlds.
With the simplicity of that statement, many “self-help” ideas are discarded.
Do you believe me?
Please do not make this a religious thing. See it in yourself. 🙂
The importance of feelings cannot be overstated. Through feelings we feel fulfilled, satisfied in Life. Love is a feeling and such is happiness, what else do we need?
Note that the word “feeling” is not enough to express the experience. We could use the word “emotion” to add complexity for the mind wants to “understand.” Spirituality is not about repeating concepts, it is mostly about your inner experience, your inner observation, how aware we could be. Labels only confuse, segregate, separates, dissects the experience.
Please consider the following not as a belief or as interesting info. Just see it in yourself, if you could see these descriptions in “you.”
The feeling that brings fulfillment is the one coming from the BEING itself through the “gut,” thus a “gut feeling.”
Take the time to observe it and recognize it. Some may call this “intuition” which is another label pointing to the same direction. Japanese medicine knows this area as “hara,” and in Chinese medicine it is known as “lower Dantian,” or the “sea of Qi.” It is not only the “gut” or the stomach, but the manifestation of vitality of BEING in this physical plane.
When that zone is relaxed, you feel relaxation, you feel good!
Perhaps we could observe 3 main centers of “feelings.”
The gut or “hara” as explained above is the main one but, we are not in touch with it. BEING according to our role in Life will manifest there. That is honesty in a nutshell. Our conditioning is to sugar coat that with thoughts, beliefs, ideas we have been exposed to and which we consider “thoughtfully,” “mindfully” speaking, to be “right.”
The second center is the heart. Thus, “heart feelings.”
We have been conditioned to believe that the “heart” has the most important feelings to “listen to.” Nevertheless, the “feelings from the heart” come actually from the mind. Those “feelings” have the conditioning of many past experiences.
For instance “love.” It is a label with many meanings. There is love for parents, for siblings, for offspring, for a partner, etc. All of those forms of love are different, but yet we use the same label: “love.” Where is the conditioning? In the way that we should express a particular “love” for a particular relationship. Observe “Love to God.”
Why do we use the “father” type of love? or even the “beloved” one? Is that what is missing in your Life? Why isn’t there a particular type of love for God as there is for a sister, a father, a son?
If you are aware of your conditioning, there will be greater openness in you.
Finally, the center in the head, which we label as “mind,” “brain,” etc. That is where most people function. That center is the furthest away from the gut. We use reason, logic, words to create our world.
For instance, you may hear poetry. The words “touched you.” The mind has been touched. A word brings the experience as the mind has a particular meaning for a particular word. “ My heart has been touched while hearing that beautiful poetry.”
Words… don’t bring an experience other than the one we believe they mean. The word “snake” could bring different reactions in people according to their experiences, however, for mainstream, that word brings a negative connotation due to religious beliefs or sexual hang ups. Conditioning.
That “feeling” is conditioning “stored” in the mind.
Again please observe those centers within yourself, otherwise; the above will just feed your mind with additional information.
In spirituality, knowing is BEING it. Not READING about it.
“If you have negativity towards someone, that will come back to you; therefore, have good feelings. It is your choice.”
Even though the above sounds very logical and reasonable; very “spiritual,” it is out of the realm of honesty of feelings.
If someone hasn’t realized the unity of all and thus, what we give; we receive; then that person only is aware of the “I” as the center of the Universe. Thus, “spirituality” for that individual has another message: ”Protect yourself. Get insurance against karma.”
It is that fear of “catching the bug” the one that will make us choose “wisely.”
What we truly are, that negativity gets buried with a bunch of thoughts: “Let me send you good feelings…my friend! I love you… I wish you the best. You are always on my mind and my thoughts…”
That thought of being “good” now, is enough to cover our reality of negativity.
When we are living in the mind, we may not realize what is a feeling and what is a thought.
Feeling is what we truly ARE. Thoughts without “action” are according to those feelings; however, we could change thoughts by being aware of the thoughts; but changing thoughts does not change our feelings, who we truly ARE.
Thoughts do not change who we ARE.
Basically, “choice” is in thoughts. That is why, “positive thinking” is so popular among the masses and individuals unaware of inner observation.
That is why, meditation with “positive thoughts,” is also popular: “I am a peaceful being, I am a loving being… repeat after me…”
That is not who I AM, but what I THINK I am.
Many individuals believe that Love is a thought. “I think I love you,” that shows how disengaged we ARE from our feelings.
When Life offers you 2 paths, which one will you choose?
For the one who lacks inner observation, the “I” needs to choose based upon what the mind has learned as “elements good for ME.” Thinking about those will dictate my “educated choice.”
When there is inner observation there is no choice. What you feel is the path. It is not “you” creating the feeling. It is already there.
To recognize our feelings without the filtering of our mind, is without a doubt; the most important aspect to feel one with Life.
There is nothing to choose when we are One. Although we may take path “1” rather than “2,” there is no choice, the “I” is not choosing… there is knowing.
When we are in the mind, we worry about the “outcome,” the “I” wants to be “right.” It is not about BEING complete, but “right.”
Feelings bring fulfillment. The path is already there, we just need to recognize it with our hearts. 🙂
All wrapped up in beliefs, hang ups, dogmas, moral standards, traditions, emotional traumas and perspectives… the inner child is unable to enjoy Life.
The innocence of the child is replaced by the self-righteousness of the “I,” who is not looking to play, to enjoy, to give himself… but to be “right.”
Without a healthy inner child, there cannot be enjoyment of Life.
Enjoyment is not just pleasure… but pleasure is part of it. Enjoyment is the ability to taste the “now” as it is, to wonder, to smile… and to move on “naturally.”
Enjoyment is not something that could be learned through a method, or some spiritual practice; but it is the outcome of unleashing the inner child from the oppression of the compulsive “adult,” who is only interested in “righteousness” for the sake of looking holy, saintly, moral, conservative, a “good example for others.”
When following by the “dot” a made up moral standard, law or tradition without the ability to move as circumstances dictate… is when the inner child is lost.
Someone who is used to follow a paragraph of law for the sake of being “right,” is compromising his intelligence and his originality just to fit in, to feel accepted.
Without intelligence and originality, we have a society of robots, unable to feel, unable to leave their minds aside, unable to be aware of themselves.
It doesn’t matter what type of “practice” someone in that state may perform, as holy as it could be; that practice is not considering the mental, emotional and physical health of the individual and thus, it will not be effective.
Where do we start?
Obviously, the starting point is to unleash the inner child in the “now,” for without enjoyment of Life, all we will have is the promise of the future; “the future will be better.” That could be the “biggest lie,” a person could rely on. Some like to label that as “hope.” A nice label for uncertainty. An empty promise to exchange the “now.”
The “sin” entails in not living the present for the sake of a “better future.”
Observe a child. As the number of “Do’s and Don’t s” increases; emotional trauma will increase.
As the number of beliefs increases; fear will increase.
As his actions are catalogued as “right or wrong,” judgment will appear in his mind.
Isn’t there anything “right” that our society and “spiritual” community are doing for our upbringing?
Nothing “right” nor “wrong.” It is the awake individual who will have the courage to step out of the cycle, not as a rebellion or as an antagonist step, but as a “natural” step as when we go from kindergarten into first grade.
An awake individual is aware of his own process and that awareness will give him openness to understand anyone else’s.
If that “natural awakening” doesn’t happen, then we have idealists or intellectuals pretending to know the “solution” of the “problem” as if they were trying to escape from quicksand… When in reality they are trapped, deep in it…
Because their consciousness is the same despite their intellectual ability, their talk will not match their walk.