“As you said, deconditioning needs to be done to live more sensibly and have a fulfilled life which can be done by spending lots of time in nature. Can you suggest some of the ways to incorporate that in daily life ? Taking a walk daily in nature, is that enough ? Or something more needs to be done ? May be taking a weekend off to some place ? What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned ? To leave the society for long periods of time sometimes, is not possible.”
Thank you for your question. It is appreciated.
Your question allows me to clarify somethings about deconditioning.
Observe that in “spirituality” we want to “accomplish” things. Some want illumination, God, etc. and the expectation is that there are certain methods or techniques to get there. It is not like that, but that is the conditioning based on our goal oriented society. “I want that too” is the motto.
Life does not have “goals.” Consciousness keeps changing without human interaction, without the “I” DOING things.
Deconditioning is not to be done. It happens. Nature is not a method for deconditioning, but deconditioning happens through Nature as well as through other means.
Probably the last phrase does not make any sense. 🙂 I will try to explain.
I could easily say:” Sure, a walk in the park in the early hours is best for deconditioning. At least 3 times a week on an empty stomach.” But that is not so. This is not an exercise meant to fit our busy schedule, so we can accomplish deconditioning along with other things that we want in Life.
Ahnanda only shares his experiences. Ahnanda is not sharing methods or techniques.
In my experience, Nature is important to create the space for deconditioning. I did not “choose to be in Nature,” I did not go to Nature for the goal of deconditioning.
I love Nature. It is Natural for me to seek it without any purpose other than sheer enjoyment of it.
Then, deconditioning happens as my love for Nature took me away from the pursues and busy-ness of the “Office World.”
Nature is a very important part of my Life but, I incorporate the “Office world,” 5 times a week up to 40 hours per week.
If you join a religious group (the most distant from current ways of society, the better) out of a feeling rather than a thought of mental gain, deconditioning will happen as well, but you will be conditioned in a new way. Most followers are not aware of that.
Thus, in your last question: “What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned?” Be open to Love. Love will do.
Love to Nature, Love to God, Love to Life, Love to someone else…
Love implies acceptance, openness for another, that will necessarily take you away from your comfort zone. That is the needed space to see things from a different perspective. Everything else after that is awareness. Most think that they love already, but they are conditioned, how come? Discover if your “love” is the one that will make you forget about yourself rather than reinforce it. Reinforcing yourself means to reinforce conditioning, and that is not the kind of love that I am talking about.
Deconditioning is not rejection of our previous conditioning. Deconditioning will give us the ability to see our old being, just like when we remember our days as little kids.
There are many ways to see the world. This vision is not about finding what is “right” and reject what is “wrong,” which is the prevalent conditioning.
Observe that every way to see the world will have its chance to manifest. It will appear and then disappear; thus there is nothing to hang onto, nothing to bring as the “truth” for change itself is not the “truth” but just another way to see the world, another vision.
Deconditioning will not give you “truth,” but openness. It is that openness what will bring fulfillment in Life… and that certainly, could be your unspoken “truth.” 🙂
Love is a pretty word. As the song goes: “All we need is Love, love. Love is all you need.”
Then comes the ideal: “The ultimate love is to love humanity.”
Bravo! I believe in that too. Great phrase. Everyone agrees on that!
Now comes the mind: “How do I get there? How do I achieve love to humanity?” “How do I achieve that state of sainthood?”
Then come religious/philosophical/scientific “methods” with clever answers to those inquires… but those answers require certain “doing” from our part.
Therefore, here comes “practice.”
After many years of trying different methods, and practicing then comes disappointment.
The ideal cannot be obtained. It is a mental thing which is fueled by our own greed.
“That is the top state of sainthood to love everyone. I want it for myself.”
That is called greed. It is the wolf dressed up as red ridding hood. Greed in the mundane is hard to recognize in the “divine.”
Where do we start?
Start with the only “real” place you could. That is with you.
Are you aware of how your mind throws violent thoughts around? It could be towards you or another. That violence cannot allow you to be Love.
See, it is not as the song says: “All we need is Love.” We ARE love.
Are you aware on how your mind dwells in the past and fantasizes about the future?
That mind cannot allow you to be Love; for Love is in the “now.” The mind cannot be in the now.
The pretty, “spiritual” words we say could be a trap for self-deception.
To try to achieve the dictionary meaning of those “good” words or virtues is like trying to hold air with our naked hands.
The clearer, the emptier your mind is of thoughts, the easier becomes to know Love without defining it, without labeling it, without describing it.
Thus, “all we need is love…” is just a catchy phrase.
“All we need is an empty mind,” is closer to Love, but … far from being a popular song.
Being is hidden behind words. The mind will not allow a strong ego to show himself as he is. To “save face” is important to maintain the integrity of the ego driven mind.
Words can be used skillfully and that skill is confusing. Out of that confusion, ego has the perfect scenario to continue his work behind the curtains.
Ahnanda says that love is when you are not. Someone else may quote that “love is to put yourself into someone else’s shoes to know his needs.” Yet another will quote their guru and say “love is empathy.” Then comes the Buddhist mind who does not use the word “love” but “compassion.”
Who is right?
The analytical mind may express that the “definition” that Ahnanda has given is worthless, if you compare that with well known Gurus who have written many books in spirituality. The analytical mind may say that the Buddhist tradition has existed for many centuries already and it must be right…
That is how a seeker confuses himself. That is how a word, the definition, to be “right” becomes more important than the experience behind the word. That is how “second class knowledge” becomes the source of authority.
That is how self-delusion starts and dishonesty will remain in the seeker’s path.
Which definition is the right one? I want to “practice” the “right one,” so I can be “right.”
That is ego in is utmost realm.
What is the difference between compassion and love?
What is the difference between love an empathy?
Trapped in words, we don’t see the reality of BEING.
Practice of any definition will not make you the definition.
Observe who you ARE. Observe what you feel.
The dishonesty of trying to live the definition of a word or a phrase is not love. Your mind is just trying to understand a word and that is the issue, the problem…
Do you understand what “you are not”?
When you “are not,” then you can be in “someone else’s shoes.” Not before.
When you “are not,” empathy flows because you are not just “you.”
When you are not, “compassion” is there for those who ARE something. You understand, you have empathy, you can put yourself into their shoes because you have been there, but now that you ARE not… you are love.
Otherwise, you are pity, you are “helping others,” you are “practice” of compassion or empathy, and that cannot be love.
Everyone is “right and wrong” at the same time. Seekers decide who is “right” or who is “wrong” and they have the reference of their own conditioning, their own pre-conceptions, their own beliefs… That is why there are many Gurus, many Gods, many “right” paths… offering different flavors according to the taste/consciousness of every seeker. 🙂
Many may ask: What is that state of “no-I” that you talk about? How do you become egoless?
Many want an explanation and a method to practice.
Few will realize after all these articles shared here, that before being egoless, we need to experience the utmost ego that we are capable of experiencing.
That is the principle of polarity in action. Your Ego has to be mature, ready to die. Without that requisite there is no surrender.
In other words, until you have not reached the point of saturation of ego in your Life, to be ego-less is out of the question.
As a matter of fact, any method that we may practice in the meantime, is meant to increase the size of the ego.
For instance, if you join a religion as a method to become free from ego, that in itself is building your ego. That is not “bad” at all. By being in that religion we may feel to be “special,” a “chosen one,” that is enhancing our previous ego. That is wonderful! 🙂
Many do not realize what is actually happening until the polarity changes.
When the ego has inflated itself to the utmost, it will explode like a balloon, then through that explosion; the ego will dissolve little by little. That is a process as well.
That process of inflating the ego, is painful. It brings suffering to our ego, until we give up.
That giving up, giving into something new is the meaning of surrendering.
What do you give up?
Yourself. That ego which believes to be you.
That surrendering could be to a Guru, a God, a loved one, etc. What is important is the process of surrendering not to who you surrender to. It is through that surrendering how something new, a new Life could be experienced.
Our ego will delay that experience of fully surrendering until the ego is fat enough to explode. Therefore, only those who have reached the pinnacle of suffering due to their ego are the only ones who could be ready to surrender and become empty of themselves.
For the rest, any path they may take, whether a Godly or a Devilish path… all of those paths are just methods to increase the size of their own egos.
That is why, there is not a “bad” path.
When you surrender, someone else takes control of your Life. You are not in charge anymore. It is through that experience how someone else, can appear in you instead of the same old ego.
To surrender the ego is an act of love, manifested through the death of that one who was there before.
That is how Love comes out of Death, just to manifest in Life. Life and Death are together.
Without the experience of having surrendered completely to become one with someone, there cannot be love between humans, for there will be only 2 fighting egos trying to possess or to boss around the other.
Eventually it becomes the relationship of the master and the slave. There is a dependency between both roles, there is a hierarchy.
The possibilities in a relationship with someone are as follows:
One ego plus another ego equals the duality of love and hate. That is the typical relationship nowadays. It is about having “security” and that kills love.
One ego plus a surrendered individual means the possibility for 2 to be one.
However, the remaining ego will give the tune to the relationship. This is the model of relationship of the 1800’s when the woman surrendered to her husband.
The surrendered person will lose her ego, her previous Life. The one who did not, will be reflected through her. Lesser ego means to be closer to a “0” a “nothing” so, 0+0 will be nothing, “0.”
That is love. That is freedom. That is death.
Love is no longer a duality, but something to be discovered at every second.
Because you can only give who you ARE, unless you ARE love, there is no love to give.
We are taught to believe that we can give love without BEING it, as when we can give money to someone when we “get it.”
We cannot “get” love to give, unless we ARE.
Any “effort” on BEING loving is self-deception.
We are taught to be desire-less to be happy. However, what is the anxious need to go to “Paradise,” to reach illumination, to please God, to become “soul” conscious”? Those things are desires just like any other “mundane” desire.
We are taught to “help others in a self-less” way; Nevertheless, we cannot BE self-less by separating “I” from the “others.” As a matter of fact, to “help others” is just a catchy phrase. By helping others, we only help ourselves. Do we get this riddle? We are not separated.
We are taught to take Life seriously, whether in the mundane business world or in the Godly world: Time is money- Become someone, save yourself from hell; hurry up! This is your only chance, if you miss this chance you will be doomed forever…
We cannot enjoy life when there is pressure to attain something, when our process is not being respected. Then we are willing to “sacrifice” our lives now for the promise to “enjoy” something in the future. That is a wonderful “method” but nothing else.
That promise of a “better” future is empty, as the “I” as it is now, cannot be the “I” in the future.
Our desire for a “better future” will only make us reject the “now.”
Once we realize the depth of all of those beliefs in our minds; then we are ready to put aside all of those teachings, to unlearn all of those things which keep the “rat-race” going in our minds as well as the division, of the mundane and the divine.
We could be aware of our own fear to continue in Life without those “training wheels,” those half-truths which we believed to be the “holy truth.” Ego needs the security of being part of a “selected” group, the mainstream, the Godly family, the familiar faces…
The above realization is the first step of our catharsis as seekers.
Before that, being a seeker is just another fashion, another way for the ego to believe in himself as “virtuous,” another way to socialize and to show how many spiritual books we can read and how many authors we could quote. That is a source for fattening our needy ego, for we could obtain the label of “knowledgeable” among our peers.
A catharsis then, is a process of unlearning and with that, a process of unleashing our repressed behaviors.
We could understand that some beliefs are just equal to the belief in Santa Claus, a technique meant to teach a self-centered person, the “joy” of giving a gift to another… but the belief in Santa Claus will be deep down in our unconscious no matter how much we could reason and understand in the surface of the conscious mind. Its depth in the unconscious is proportional to the amount of time we have spent drilling down such beliefs in our conscious mind.
For that reason, we shall deal with emotions, the “programming” of our unconscious.
Many individuals who have not experienced the process of a catharsis are caught up in blaming a society, a religion, a practice… unable to see that every experience is invaluable in our development.
What is important is to know when those “tools” need to be discarded, so we could embrace something new.
For instance, ego is a “tool.” It is not a “bad” thing, a vice. It is a mechanism of “self-defense,” something that will allow a person to survive in this society. However, it comes to a point, when that grown up ego, is an obstacle to flourish by connecting with others… then ego must go away through a process of catharsis.
The “programming” is erased. Some religions pretend to have “the method” to erase the emotions stored deep in our unconscious. However, everyone is not the same. A “method” may work for some but no others. Life will bring the right conditions at the right time. Different Life experiences are tailored to our particular needs. We are not alone.
Through that catharsis, you are empty and open for newness. It is in that emptiness how Love IS.
Before that catharsis, love may be pretty talk, romantic “get aways,” and fairy tales.
One of Life sweetest pleasures is to share with your friends the immense freedom of being just “you.”
As a seeker, I am discovering the full circle of Life. In my experience, it was about going outside for validation, for love, for acceptance just to come back to myself, to feel comfortable in my own skin, in my own company… that “getting used to” could take many years. It is a process.
When we reach the “comfortable” level, that is the time when Life will prompt us to move on, to go “outside the shell” for a “new beginning.” That is the time to integrate with the Totality under a new “me.”
When Life gives us “idle time” with ourselves, it is to recuperate, unwind, gather strength and face what is left, to complete that full circle.
Many times, we will find friendship in some who remind us of ourselves. We could see many characteristics that we have in common. That brings a comfortable, nurturing friendship.
That reminds me of the saying: “Tell me who your friends are and I ‘ll tell you who you are.”
Nevertheless, many times we forget that friends are those who show us who we truly are, and accept us as we are.
Want a teacher?
There you have it, in flesh, near you !
Have you seen Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog from “Looney Tunes” cartoons?
They have opposite interests, they will disagree, fight and try to outwit each other while in “office hours,” but once they “punch out” the clock, they are friends again as if nothing happened before.
Most humans keep the past inside them, some as a reminder of a “payback time,” and others as a “danger” signal to reject something or someone, thus; unknowingly allowing for a traumatic experience, which will become a deep emotion in need of healing, later on.
What is that “punch out of the clock” in a friendship?
The ability to say, and feel: “I am sorry.”
It is not just lip service, but the connection with a person will be maintained in the capacity that we have to feel appreciation for that person despite differences.
Is he/she pushing all your buttons? Is he/she “mirroring” you and that is exactly what you do not like about them?
For the aware individual, that is an excellent “teacher”!
If your Life journey is dedicated on knowing yourself, who could be the most adequate person to partner with in Life?
The opposite of yourself, of course.
The sheepdog with the wolf makes a great Life long partnership as long as there is a common time to “punch out” of the clock.
“But why? They will be fighting all along!”
That may be true. That is why it was said, “for those who are in the journey of knowing themselves.”
The opposites are complements.
One with yourself, you could be one with another who is the opposite.
“Wouldn’t that be a great challenge?”
Yes, but it also has a great reward.
“What is that?”
To find love.
Love the ones who are like you but also the ones who are the opposite. Isn’t that a religious teaching? Yes, and without the experience in “real” Life, it is just a meaningless dogma.
Every single relationship, every single friendship has been planned out just for you! Whether a “good” experience or a “bad” experience, it is exactly what you need in your current stage.
We are going in a full circle in Life, so there is no objective to reach, but just to enjoy the unique moment as it is.
Perhaps, do we want an easy “method” to “achieve” friendship?
Here are the “steps:”
2) Show empathy
3) Say I am sorry.
Do you like that? Want to teach that to others?
No rush.The above is completely useless! 🙂
You can only act as you are. To believe that by changing your behavior you will “achieve” something is truly an illusion. Repetition of a script will only dull your feelings.
Nevertheless, to go through that illusion is “good” for it is part of your journey which is pointing to no other place… but yourself.
I have learned in Life that out of all the possible relationships that one could experience, friendship is the most flexible, adaptable and capable of allowing us to be true to ourselves.
Freedom in friendship. The bond of a friendship is what is needed in all other relationships, for even if the other relationships dissolve, friendship will remain.
Friendship is the epitome of a relationship.
If we could only perceive the “other” as a friend…
A sense of belonging is so important for our well being, but there are few things that we could belong to, without being asked for something in return.
When you find friends that accept you without conditions, without rules and restrictions… value that time, be grateful to Life because you found an invaluable treasure … 🙂
In the “office world” to reinvent the wheel is inefficient effort.
In Life, to reinvent the wheel is necessary to grow.
From the last article, we could observe the duality of the “believer” and the “non-believer.” Both are experiencing their childhood state of consciousness.
How do you know if you are no longer there?
When you are not conscious of that duality, of course.
For the most part, our “journey” will take us to both sides equally and with the same intensity, that is we could be a believer or non-believer turned into its opposite.
That “journey” will take us to the full range of experiences and will give us naturally, a deep insight away from the simplistic labeling of something as “good” or “bad.”
That labeling is a child-like consciousness.
Ingrained in that childhood state, it is the belief that we could “become better” by following some thought out method, by practicing certain actions considered to be “good.”
“Practice compassion if you want to be compassionate.”
“You should choose what you want to create and then, take the steps towards that direction to “achieve” it.”
Sounds good? Respectable? Reasonable?
Perhaps, but let me assure something. Unless you are “compassionate” already, there is no way to “practice” compassion. If you practice something that you call or think as compassion, that is not compassion but just a thought, a belief, a mask that we wear for a determined occasion.
You see, Life will present different scenes, which will shatter all of our “thought out” ideas about compassion.
BEING compassion will result in acting compassionate.
The practice of something, which we are not; will merely change our behavior and that behavior will reverse as soon as the practice is stopped. Consciousness will remain the same.
That is the issue that all religions cannot resolve. They are about “practice.”
“Practice” will solidify DOING. Repetition will create a habit, but none of that is related with change of consciousness.
If you are a seeker, please consider the above; for it may be helpful.
Internally, we believe that “spirituality” is another subject, another discipline to “practice.”
Most seekers do not realize that “spirituality” cannot be separated from living Life itself.
It is that same frame of mind, the one looking for a method to obtain “compassion” after putting the “effort to achieve it.”
It is that same frame of mind, the one which will inculcate “steps” to reach the goal.
Please see that all of those “steps” are only made to hide who you really ARE.
BEING is a process. Every Human being is in a different location in that process.
BEING changes by living Life, in the assimilation of experiences.
Did you realize that you don’t have compassion in your heart and now, you want to change that?
Become aware of those traits that are in what you call “you.” Life will bring the right scenarios for that to change into greater openness, that is compassion.
Life for you, is a different experience than Life for me. Therefore, how is it possible to generalize a method, to reach a collective ideal?
Did you hear about Mother Theresa?
Do you believe that she was compassionate?
Want to be like her?
Then, imitation is all you will have. Imitation is not BEING compassionate but just to copy someone’s demeanor, activity, behavior.
The “I” cannot change anything about itself. The “I” can only change behavior, externalities but never the core, the heart.
The “I” is a separation from Life, an entity living his own world in self-absorption.
That “I” is the one who needs a God to “change.”
That “I” is the one who needs to “practice” things to make himself believe that is becoming “better” now.
That “I” is the one in need of Paradise as a reward for postponing the “practice” of his “real” nature now.
That “I” is the one selecting pain and suffering and denying pleasure as a way to “purify” himself.
That “I” is the one making up beliefs, dogmas when there is the experience of Life and our ability to enjoy that experience.
BEING in AWARENESS of continuous change will take away the static beliefs and dogmatic truths that will not allow us to flow with the wind of destiny.
That freedom to BE implies a journey to unmask the “I.”
The “I” is not “bad” nor “good.”
The “I” is part of our own growth in the journey, from “self” into “no-self,” from “form” into “no-form,” from “being” into “non-being.” 🙂