Who we are? “That” is not a concept, a religious word to recite and to say “I know.”
It is to allow for “that” to be, to acknowledge it, to embrace it, to honor it. It may not be what the “I” was taught to see as “good” but that is what is…. It will change if allowed to. There is no “I” who could do that magic of change, it happens by itself when we realize that we are Life itself, that is change.
Harry, a “seeker” said: “I am responsible for my decisions. I have made many “bad” choices… but I didn’t know any better… We are what we do.”
Because you didn’t know, you’ve learned. Is that “bad”?
Now that you “know” that is not enough. The magic happens when there is openness to BE it.
Many KNOW but only few ARE.
You see, in Life there is no destination or final objective, it is a continuous circle of experiences…
Harry: “I don’t agree with that. I think that there is a destination for we are stillness, silence…”
When we are not silence, what are we? Do we see that by naming something as the goal of what “it” should be, there is an automatic negation of that who I am?
Harry: “Negation? No… I am not negating anything.”
Isn’t the goal to become silence, stillness?
If that is the goal, then what you are “now” is not what is supposed to be, it is lacking, and it is in need of completion.
That is the talk of most religions: You are not “perfect” now… BUT we can teach how to get there…
How are you going to reach there? By following a method given by a belief system, an illuminated one, God, etc.
Don’t we realize that “we are all One”?
Then, why should we separate noise or movement as not being us? Isn’t movement and noise part of that Oneness?
Your belief may say that there is a goal to attain; but once we observe that Life is continuous change, how could we say that the goal is stillness?
Harry: “We are talking about 2 different things. You are talking about Life and I am talking about another realm where we all go, a realm full of bliss where we will be who we truly are… that realm is where God abides….”
How could we say that Life is separated from that realm, if we are all ONE?
Now, we are in this Life. Tomorrow we may be in your realm beyond. “You” as today will not be going there. Someone else may, which is not “you.” There are many changes between “you” and that one in the future.
Who are “you” then? Why is there this compulsive need to go into the future if “you” will not be there?
Life is a thread of relationships. We are all related. The egotistical mind is obstinate in the separation of things when nothing can exist without being in relationship. Our mind believes that we are something static, when we are Life itself, changing all the time. Why do we separate from Life?
Harry: “ Let me go back…The goal is to be more spiritual, more spirit like and to go away from the density of the body…”
The word “spirituality” is an overrated word. To be “more spiritual” is just a state of Being, just like being “less spiritual.” By being less-spiritual, we become “more spiritual.” By being “more spiritual,” we become less… It is movement within that duality. One state will lead to another.
That is why to say: “I will make effort to become more spiritual” is senseless. By being less, the change into “more” will happen.
To be “illuminated” is not the end, the goal, but merely another state of being, which will change as Life changes.
Religions have taught us to praise, and try to attain one state of being rather another, but once we ARE one state of being, we will move into the other side; automatically, without effort…
The fish swimming in the river of Life, is going with the current. The fish may believe that “it is “I” making the effort to move.”
But… We know better.
We have a predetermined concept of something which we consider valuable in life. For some, that value is called a “goal,” or a “mission in life,” or an “accomplishment,” or some idea of universal service to humanity, to “change it,” to “transform it,” etc.
With that “mission” in mind our lives become an “end” in itself, and the “means,” that is the “walk of the traveler” has a meaning only if the “mission” is accomplished.
We have created words to make that illusion as something “real,” we call that “life purpose.”
Have you observed a painting?
What makes that painting “valuable”?
Note that “value” is something created by our minds, just as beauty is a concept to live by for an intellectual mind.
Beauty is an experience, not a thing. It is a personal experience. Very personal, just like God.
Value is also personal.
Mathias the wise tree, was sharing with his friend Ananda.
Mathias: What is the value of a painting, Ananda?
Ananda: It doesn’t have a value in itself, but the one given collectively, by a group of people, the “experts.”
Mathias: Is it possible for a painting to have a “goal”?
Ananda: No, unless that goal is accepted by others.
Mathias: What is the “mission” of a painting?
Ananda: whatever the author desires…
Mathias: and… if others do not see that “mission”
Ananda: Then, the painter could get upset if he depends on the value that others give to his painting.
Mathias: Your life is like a painting. The “value” of the painting is artificially given by many, but a painting is only supposed to show itself.
Your life is being painted by you. Your value of that painting is all that matters although, that painting truly does not have a value… It is beyond that concept. Your life is meant to be lived, to be expressed and shown. That is your mission, your accomplishment, your goal….and at the same time, there is no goal, accomplishment or mission unless you give that information to your mind.
Ananda: I want my painting to be beautiful…
Mathias: Then, discover and uncover what is already painted and being painted at the same time. Show it, so it can be appreciated.
Ananda: But… others will compare. They will label me and put themselves higher or lower or at the same level… They will call me this or that, defame me or praise me…
Mathias: Oh my friend… That is their own issue… but it could be yours if you want it…
There are many self-help books, spiritual books and even traditional educational values which emphasizes the word “purpose.”
Our psychology, our self-worth in our society, our sense of belonging to something… all of that is defined with the word purpose.
If you write something, there is a purpose. If you do something, there is a purpose. If you own something there is a purpose; thus, we ask ourselves… what is the purpose of life?
Thereby, our answer is already arranged so we could answer: “the purpose of life is…”
That is the wrong question to ask.
Purpose is needed when we are not part of the whole. As long as there is an “I,” a motive, a “raison d’être,” there will be a purpose.
“My purpose in life is this and that.” We have automatically caged our own potential based on an idea.
This idea may remain for a long time despite life changes. The ideal becomes more important than living life.
Western mentality and many religions and philosophies believe that “we need to have a purpose in life.” That is “true” but it is not the “truth.”
What is the purpose of the sun? 🙂
We could give many reasons. To give life to this planet, to allow daylight to happen, to maintain a predetermined balance in the solar system or just so I could get a tan at the beach… many purposes, all valid according to time and circumstances. Nevertheless, all of those reasons are just coming from a limited perspective, a one-sided viewpoint. The Sun by itself does not have a purpose. It is simply there as part of a divine balance, movement that we call life.
Human beings on the other hand, will search for a purpose. For some it could be to paint. For others, to be a golf players, for others to be a teacher.. all about “doing” things.
A purpose in the “doing” realm is very restrictive. If “I” ever believe that “I” am what “I” do, then at that moment, “I” am not aware that “doing” has nothing to do with a purpose. The “purpose” has always been in “being.” However, once we find “being,” there is no longer a need for a purpose. 🙂
The paradoxes of life are truly amazing. Our belief in a particular word will limit our thinking and our amplitude, our openness to life.
Any intellectual understanding of life itself is incomplete. It will lack grace and beauty. It will lack life.
We could pretend to understand a fish separated from water. That is intellectual understanding.
But we know that fish and water go together. This is insight.
As we add more elements, we can see that fish, water, sky, day, night, clouds, wind….. all is a togetherness… then we could come closer to what is… as long as we feel it.
Devotion is one of those practices which are least understood in Western countries. As a matter of fact, the most “advance” the country, the least devotion will be seen unless there is an Eastern religious practice going, devotion as such is misunderstood, even by the ones practicing it.
At one time, I had the opportunity to see “Westerners renunciates” making a line to kiss the feet of someone considered a “Spiritual evolved” person.
It almost looked as “something mechanical,” something to do for a “protocol,” rather than the feeling of reverence or love. The action is just a “way” to express but behind that outward symbol, lies the feeling.
Whenever I visit India or Peru, I can see devotion from a far different perspective. It is that “blind love,” that sort of strong need to relate with that which is seen as holy or higher which is usually represented by a human being.
The vision however, is to be related with God or a Divine power through a human being. Kissing the feet of someone considered to be “holy” then, it is not just a “protocol” but an honor. This is a different perspective on the same activity.
How is that related with Spirituality?
It is fundamental to have that love. Without that love or that devotion, in us; our spiritual practices; whatever they may be, will be just another “job” something “mechanical,” something which will not bring much transformation in the self, for transformation implies love in one way or another.
In Spirituality, we see that love for something considered “higher,” as devotion. That devotion many times is just “outwardly” mechanical such as to say the name of a person, God, etc… There are no feelings, just protocol.
What are the typical sources of “that” love?
Love for God is the first one and most popular one. That is the love for that “someone” who is the highest. Our life becomes this awareness. That “relationship” could be forged through a “devotional practice,” or a prayer or meditation, etc. There has to be a way to relate in however way we perceive God is. The perceptions differ, but the feelings are important.
At the same time there is that love for something which does not have that “hierarchy,” as a person or someone but as the experience itself of awe and inspiration, that is Nature, for example. There is no person, no form in particular but the appreciation of beauty and the splendor of being part of it.
There is that love through “emptiness” as well for some, through the recognition of wholesomeness with the Universe; in them that love is usually known as “compassion,” which is that love for all.
Without this “compassion,” there is no way to connect with the rest, there is no communion with the Universe.
Therefore, in every spiritual or religious path, there is a need for love. That love for our own spiritual practices to connect with the Guru, God, saints, deities, Nature, etc; as a sure way to surrender that “ego” which is “proud” of being “itself,” and which needs a certain “status.”
In the “normal” world, we have seen that need to “love,” through the romantic scene of finding that “special one.” It is supposed to be a relationship of “equals,” in the best human relationships, nevertheless; many times we find that for one partner to be the center of attention is not unusual, and that becomes unhealthy although accepted. In this type of “give and take” there is no chance for that “higher love” to arise.
In the absence of something to “accomplish,” “to complete,” or something to “become,” there is the enjoyment of “doing” something for the sake of doing it. The “ulterior motive” is the one who kills the expression.
Even in something such as running (Which I understand and have experienced its beauty,) there is sheer enjoyment of simplicity in movement and the opportunity to feel how the body is capable of flowing in effortless, economical movement. That enjoyment could be “killed” when there is the ulterior motive to “beat John in the next race” as “my” goal.
Then, I am “using” running for this “goal,” that is to “show John who I am.” Many will discuss this point. They will say that they “enjoy to compete.” I would correct that, to “you enjoy to show off what you are capable of.” That is ego in action, transformed with the word “good.” To compete is good…. The world depends on it.. 🙂
Enjoyment is without goal. Just like devotion.
When there is no “goal,” flowing happens, transformation happens as long as there is love.