One of the greatest conditioners, is the idea that “one solution/method fits everyone.”
Methods, books, teachings, religions support the “one size fits all” approach.
Certainly, here is where the belief of “truth” comes in.
The “truth” is your experience, but at the same time, it is only yours. This “concept” of “truth” is difficult to understand, if we take the “Office world” as our reference.
In the “Office world,” things are labeled neatly. Concepts are placed in “good” or “bad” containers. Judgments are based on our perception of where actions, ideas, ideals fit. However, we do not realize that our judgement is conditioned with the ideals that we have been taught to be “true.”
Common agreement with an upgraded label: ”Truth.”
A seeker may need to realize the above to be at peace with the World, and to open up to Life.
How this will work practically? The more definitions we use to identify ourselves with, then our freedom to BE and change, will be obstructed.
The “office world” is great on those labels!
“I am a catholic democrat from Nigeria. My soccer team is the Real Madrid.” Those labels are necessary in the “Office world” where identity is important; but in Life, those labels only separate, which in turn brings self-righteousness and opposition.
We BELIEVE in those labels beyond their place in the “office world.” The identity that those labels provide will give us the comfort that we are SOMEONE.
“Oh, I get… you are saying that we shouldn’t join any religions or be part of particular teams, for that brings separation, right?”
Observe your answer. Your mind is separating again. Ahnanda is not sharing these things so someone could make a commandment through these words, or some other religious BELIEF.
Ahnanda is sharing these realizations so we could perceive how our conditioning from the “Office World” affects our perception of Life. That is all.
“Once you die, you could go to heaven, hell or purgatory.”
Do we see how “One size fits all” is used?
What is the standard for that selection knowing that everyone has a different consciousness, different experiences and somewhat the same conditioning?
Death becomes a problem, even though we have not lived Life to the fullest, for we are stuck with our definitions, our “should be,” our “righteous” beliefs, our doubled-edge morality, etc.
In the path of self-realization, all of that will need to be left behind. It is not an ideal to pursue as: “From now on, I will not believe in a religion or join a political party.”
That is childish. That is rejection to what the “Office world” offers.
Just BE AWARE of the game. There is no need to make selections or to put our Life goals in a paragraph so everyone could read it and say: “This guy is something. How pure are his intentions!”
Some still need the medicine of “commandments and laws” to keep out of trouble in the “office world,” but this does not mean that in other “spiritual” dimensions, things are the same. Nevertheless, religions copy that procedure. After all, the collective consciousness, the masses, are already conditioned to follow that and consider that as “truth.”
For others, the medicine for a different consciousness is to be AWARE of how things operate without verbalizing it, and running the risk of putting their realization into a “black or white” commandment to be followed by others.
Have you seen the definition of “mindfulness”?
1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
That makes intellectual sense, right?
Intellectually, we want to practice that. We want to “achieve” that. As a matter of fact, some are making money by “teaching” that.
That dictionary definition can only describe “mindfulness,” as when we describe the Ocean to someone who has never seen it and experienced. Therefore, what are we going to “practice”? What are we going to “achieve”? An ideal.
Mindfulness is no-mind. Thus, it is not a “mental state.” It is not a purposely, willingly focus on something. Can we understand no-mind when our society has used the word “mind” to describe ourselves? Can we go beyond the conditioning?
Opposites drive Life into movement. “Life changes” is the consequence of opposite energies.
Want to be “spiritual”? Want to be “good”?
Non-spiritual and “bad” has to be experienced. Thus, It is to be “bad,” “bad” after all? 🙂 It is a matter of time.
We will find people with opposite virtues/weaknesses, characters, perspectives, experiences, skills, etc. That is what is necessary for movement in the World to occur, yet; our conditioning will judge and label what is not considered “right” through our standards.
God needs the Devil. Police needs crooks, politicians need masses, day needs night… Get the picture?
Those apparent opposites work as “One,” practically it is a unity.
We say: “Body, mind and spirit,” to define a human being, but all of those separating labels cannot divide what is meant to be ONE.
Our minds will affect the way our bodies feel and our bodies, the perception of the mind.
For most the word “spirit” is not experiential. It is only a nice label to throw in there to “look spiritual.”
Nevertheless, whether we dissect a human into 20 types of bodies and 500 chakras, everything works as a unity. It is ONE.
Our education, our learning is based on information. That is second hand knowledge. That is worthless to understand Life, but for the human world, it is priceless stuff.
Once a human being is sold into the ways of society as the only “Life,” then he will not be able to connect with Nature, with Life itself.
In some minds, a concept is real: Triangles exist and so numbers. An” ideal” such as “justice” is supported, the unchanging ideal unable to fit “what is.” Life has its own “justice” which has very little resemblance to human justice. It is merely the experience of the opposite. We say “my karma.” One side of the full experience.
“Spirituality for the masses” keeps teaching its followers how to avoid change. How to stick with an ideal. “Summer is good. Don’t go into Winter for that is bad.” That creates inner dishonesty. A believer believes Summer to be the “right” thing, but he cannot stop the process of living Winter in his own skin.
The procession of the opposites is bound to pass by, it is the 2 faces of the coin which makes up ONE coin. Every time we choose one side, we cannot avoid the other to show up. It is a matter of time.
We have learnt to separate opposites, but from another vision; those opposites are complementary.
Every human experience has an opposite. Every Life journey will go through that trip. Today saint, tomorrow sinner. Where is the middle line? There is none… or we could make up one and label that as our “morality.”
Our conditioning to believe in labels don’t allow us to see the continuity of the rainbow: Different colors, even opposite of each other making up ONE white light.
Historically, the emphasis of religions, moralists, philosophies and psychologists; have been to correct human beings from all flaws, sins, degraded ways, etc. in order for him to fit in as a “normal” individual in society or a particular system.
Basically, Man is sick and needs to become well again. So, here are the steps to regain health…. Some will put god as the medicine, others “good actions,” others will emphasize sacrifice for mankind, others will call for “love,” as the savior and others… will believe in the power of researched therapy.
The analytical mind will search for those things which are believed to be incorrect, deviant, aberrant, etc. and will pursue the avoidance of those things at all costs. That is the practical medicine, the approach.
Fear is the key factor to make that “change” for there are penalties in this Life and the afterlife for indulging in such “sins.”
When moralists hear about Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira or the story of any self-realized individual, the aim to copy them appears.
Jesus was labeled as being “indigent;” therefore, that means that “spiritual people” cannot be rich. Buddha was labeled as “vegetarian” (although there is a discussion on this within followers) thus, to eat meat became a sin…The list went on thanks to the interpretation of the dualistic “black or white” mind of followers and moralists who lacked the experience of a self-realized individual.
Through a “black or white” approach it is easy to figure out what is “good” and what is “bad.” There is an “imaginary line” separating those two. This simple “imaginary” approach became the moral standard in society.
DOING became the way for man to “change” their “evil” ways.
DO what is “right” even though it is the opposite of who you ARE, for you must fit into the ideal. Repress yourself. Sacrifice yourself for some ideal or for some god. That is the way to reform yourself. Call it “Love” to make it pretty and acceptable.
Even though the above is appealing to the masses, it denotes lack of awareness.
If you are rich, and become poor just because Jesus was labeled as poor; what you are DOING is increasing your ego. The façade of making yourself poor from wealthy, has the emotional bitterness of having “lost” many things along with the pride and hope of getting way more stuff in heaven, while believing that this ACTION will gain you respect from those who cannot DO that feat. The mind comes up with self-serving wild stuff sometimes, I wonder if we are aware of that? 🙂
Jesus wasn’t “poor.” He always had what he needed. Is that “poor”? We just judge and label according to our conditioned standards. BEING deconditioned from the need to possess things, creates the “poor” image among conditioned individuals.
Buddha wasn’t vegetarian. He wasn’t for vegetables and avoiding/rejecting meat . He did not make the “effort” to become vegetarian.
If Buddha ever said: “I am vegetarian” that wouldn’t be a Buddha speaking; but followers will insist on following what they perceived to be “right”, even though is not natural for them. It is “effort,” it is “hard,” then to “practice” that becomes the source of ego, for there is something to set people apart, to show others who is spiritual, divine, worthy of heaven, rather than a simple, mundane human being. Another ego trip. It is about “proving yourself” of your worthiness.
To copy or follow someone does not bring AWARENESS, it brings forth a human being who is not able to acknowledge who he is and thus, to have the capacity to love himself.
The “keyword” nowadays is to Decondition. It is a fashionable word! Spirituality at this time, is about deconditioning. If our conditioning is all we know and we want to “become better” as an extension of our conditioning, that is a mirage, although it sells lots of “spiritual” books.
How do we start?
By living closer to Nature. (It is free of charge!) There may not be many self-realized beings who haven’t spent lots of time in Nature as part of their own deconditioning process from “normal” society.
Let me explain the “benefits” through “Office world” terminology: That will demote the position of the mind as the CEO of ourselves. The mind will be just another salaried employee in the “I” company. That step is a big “company merger.” By going through this process, the way we look at Life will be totally different. We will not be “normal” anymore nor “subnormal”, the mind will not be there to “scheme” political moves against itself.
We could be “abnormal” just along the line of other “abnormal” beings like Jesus, Buddha, etc. Perhaps we could be unknown, without followers, without “teachings” to share but nevertheless, full of Life. 🙂
If someone has the desire to become “better” in spirituality, that person will only feed himself with greed.
If a person wants to become “good” by reading books, taking classes or joining a religion; that person will only be full of concepts, ideas, about being “good.”
If a person wants to “make effort” to go to “heaven”; certainly he will make his current Life, full of hell.
The above does not follow the conditioning of the “office world.” I am not saying not to DO the above. By all means DO it. Have the experience of it, so the words above have a new meaning, for the above will not be another belief, another concept.
In the “office world” if someone wants to be “better”, that one needs to take classes, certifications, read books, gather concepts, ideas to talk the talk. It is about gathering information.
That does not work in “spirituality” or better yet, living Life with joy.
DOING things to become someone else is not the answer. Joy is not in becoming someone in the future, but in BEING now.
The word BEING may be one of the most difficult “concepts” to grasp. It is not a concept. It is an experience.
When the mind is; BEING is not.
BEING is not defined by actions. Actions are defined by moral standards, laws, commandments, etc. Those laws are not standards for “goodness,” they are just agreements to live by as a society.
Every cause has an effect. This is not human law or morality. This is the way Life moves, changes. Most of the time humans are concerned in pursuing their wishes, desires, wants, etc. Nothing wrong with that. However, also be courageous enough to take the consequences as well.
“Many times I do not know what could happen out of an action, but whatever happens, I will be there.” That may be labeled as maturity.
This level of natural commitment does not arrive when making “thoughtful decisions,” for we will be hunted by our moral conditioning.
This is good, that is bad. This is wrong… That is right.
If in our core, we act based on morality alone, repression is unavoidable. Our society loves people who “sacrifices for others,” you may get a prize; but deep inside you, there will be dissatisfaction.
That is why it is of great importance to observe who I AM, at that moment. If I am not willing to take consequences, for whatever they are; then I need to understand that my wishes, wants, desires, etc. are not deep enough. They are just mental thorns, torturing for lack of awareness.
“Spirituality” is busy trying to cover BEING with DOING.
If I am with a group of people, and I AM uncomfortable with someone in the group, typically, I could blame that to the other person. I can add mental reasons to explain my feelings. That is to sleep while being awake.
Understand that a button inside you have been pushed. If we are AWARE of that, then there is opportunity for that sensation to continue its path. If it arrives, it must go.
If I am not aware, then I will cover that with some spiritual practice such as: “I should be good, gentle with everyone.”
By covering who I am for the sake of following some moral standard, I have started to build inner dishonesty.
I am not saying not to be nice although I am feeling uncomfortable. I am saying to be AWARE that the issue is with me and I need to identify that. This is how we become our own spiritual guru.
This could be a deceiving “practice,” or it could be a source for inner honesty.
For many individuals, Morality is synonym of “righteousness”, “good”, “sainthood”, etc.
Going deeper into the significance of morality, we may discover that it takes away the inherent innocence of an individual to turn him into some sort of preconditioned robot, who is expected to display a certain behavior under certain circumstances. Our society believes that “good” is something that can be DONE regardless of who you truly ARE.
In our society, morality is necessary. Without it individuals would behave in distinct ways which could be unmanageable.
Thus, morality exists as a way of management.
“Who manages who?”
Those with power will manage those without them. Those with power are the few. Those without it, the many.
This is the basic game, the struggle of human beings.
I cannot show up naked to work, for that is “immoral.” If I do, there will be consequences coming from those with power.
There is nothing wrong with being naked or so we are told; the body is beautiful, right? until “morality” is invented. Add some religious morality to the mix, to feel shame of our body. That is the “double standard.”
The surgeon general warning says “smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and may complicate pregnancy…” Nevertheless, cigarettes are “morally” sold to the public under the belief that because someone is 18 years or older, they know what is “best for them.” The magic of a number.
Therefore, “morality” is just a convention to play a game by following certain rules. I am not saying not to play it. Play it by all means, but know that it is not the “true game,” or the “only one.” That space will allow us not to be caught up. It is a game.
However, many will worship that word and take it to an extreme, just to show self-righteousness, ego.
Life, Nature is void of morality. Are you aware of that?
“But those are animals… what can you expect from them?”
Those “animals” know how to live Life harmoniously with their environment. Humans have lost that precious gift, thanks to their emphasis of using only the mind. The “moral” human is destroying his own environment. Fascinating!
What do all Hollywood movies have in common?
The plot of the fight between “good”, and “bad.” That is the “moral” versus the “immoral.”
Although “bad”, “immoral” is rejected, without them there will not be a movie, no plot to make profit. Our society and “spiritual values” will teach us to reject, despise our own shadow; paradoxically, by living in the shadows and away from light.
Light becomes only a mental, intellectual teaching when it is separated from the shadow.
That sort of insanity has been around for hundreds of years. The consequence is a divided man. A human who is unable to fully accept himself, that is incapable of loving the totality of himself.
Do you know about the teaching of “becoming better”? Our society continuously puts that carrot in front of us, donkeys.
“Better, moral, good” … Nice, pretty labels. We have already been conditioned to fully accept them, without going into these things with depth.
Who has the time, when there is so much to accomplish, so much stuff out there to build a “better” ego?
Time is money it is morally said… but in Life, time is change, and change… takes time, not money. 🙂
We rely heavily on words to understand. We think we know, when we got the concept or a definition. “Life/Spirituality” is not in the realm of words and language. Words are merely vague descriptions.
For example, the “problem” is “anger.” The solution is to be “centered.” Thus, to “practice” being centered, is the “homework” to attain the label “conqueror of anger.”
Anger is not a problem. The consequences on how we handle that energy is the issue. Anger is an experience, an emotional experience which needs to be observed, conscious of, aware of. If we label it as a “problem,” we are denying the other side of duality.
“What is that?”
The same energy that produces anger in one extreme, is the same one that will produce compassion on the other side.
Daylight and night are the experience of what we label as a day. Both come together. If we make a “problem” out of daylight, then our days will be fixated in “solving” something that does not need to be solved, only observed.
In the “office world,” we are taught to “solve problems.” We are trained to be “problem solvers.” That same mentality does not “work” in Life. There is nothing to “solve” but rather to be aware of as everything changes at its own time. We could push change by following our own agenda, by using violence and hide it with pretty labels such as “justice,” “the need of the time,” etc.
Our society, morality, values, spiritual coaches and religions are typically caught up in identifying “good,” defining it, labeling it and “practicing it.” That mentality does not have any depth. Any change in it is superficial.
Observe how many laws and codes of conduct man has followed throughout history. Observe that any change in human psychology has been superficial. Only in behavior and as long as someone is “watching.”
That is how God was needed. An honest, “God fearing individual” knows that “God is watching him,” thus that is no honesty at all. It is just a “spiritual” façade.
“To practice good” is the most dishonest behavior a person could engage in.
You ARE. If you practice something that you aren’t, you are merely covering that which you ARE with some belief of what “should be.” BE AWARE of what you ARE so change can happen.
A person “practicing” to be centered as to avoid anger, is making himself believe that he is achieving something. The reality is that the word “centered” is misleading our mind. Thus, I will practice what I believe to be “centered.”
My belief is based on my understanding, my interpretation of some spiritual class, some “best seller” book or just my understanding of the dictionary definition of the word “centered.”
Observe that we are caught up in words. We are caught up in the understanding of the mind. Just observe the energy of anger (don’t even use that label internally) without reacting. Be aware of it, let it go through you. This is to acknowledge the process.
Most individuals only want the “magic pill,” the “method to get rid of anger.” That is why “spiritual salesman” of quick-fixes are making a living by “helping others.”
Those individuals buying quick-fixes are not ready yet for inner Awareness. The same happens with Tantra. A “quick fix” to have “great sex,” to “last longer” will not necessarily lead to a fulfilling Life. Selling the icing of the cake without the cake is like building a house without foundation.
“But Ahnanda… you have written good arguments but you have not given a solution to anger… “
Well my friend, it seems that the above hasn’t been understood. I wonder If I am not using the “right words.”
Here is your “solution.” Remove yourself from the world for 90 days. Live by yourself, alone without any human company, TVs, phones, computers, etc. When you go back to the “real world,” you will be AWARE and sensible about the energy of anger.
“But Ahnanda… that is not practical. We have to make a living, we have jobs, studies, relationships, a life to take care of…”
I understand. Then, follow a quick fix. Pick any. Practice it… Pay for it so it is “worth it.” Ask for a money back policy. Would that work?
“Ahnanda… you surprise me. First you say that “quick fixes” are only superficial, but yet you are giving me that “solution” to my serious enquire about anger. Why are you doing that?”
Ah! My friend…So you don’t get angry. See, I am “helping you.” 🙂
If you could distance from who you think you are, you could observe the defined “I.” From that observation, that “I” at that time, will go away by itself.
The above is the basis of any sort of “spirituality” concerned with self-realization.
That distance means to observe the influence of thoughts, the influence of ideas and beliefs defining us. It is to explore our value system and to see it as it is: A common ground for interaction. This common ground has no special divinity, no higher moral standard other than what we give it. That is our conditioning.
Let me clarify the above with an example: John is sunbathing naked at a beach. The laws prohibit that, but he did it anyway. He was willing to take the consequences. Sandy arrives to the scene unknowingly as she was exploring the beach.
Could you see the interactions that could happen out of that scene?
Sandy could call the police. Sandy could scream or get upset. Sandy could walk away in fear. Sandy could pretend she didn’t see anything. Sandy could judge John as a “pervert.”
All of those behaviors are reactions coming from conditioning. If Sandy was aware, that incident could tell her a lot about who she is.
John could have reacted in many ways as well, trying to hide, defend or rationalize his action.
Nudity in public is forbidden. Is nudity “bad”? No. As long as it is in a designated area. That is the teaching, the conditioning. A religious “I” could add more to the occasion: “A God fearing person does not act in such immoral way.” The conditioning is a bit different, it is about condemning certain behaviors.
At the end of the day, it is just a man sunbathing at the beach without clothes on and a woman walking by.
The same principle applies on how we look at Life. The range of experiences is very rich.
Observe that there are many perspectives out of a single scene. We have been taught to “judge it and to choose what is right.”
We may not realize that what is “right” is only a convention.
If you could see this with depth, Life will no longer be a serious business. It will be a game.
Therefore, the systems of the mind, the conventions are ruling our lives.
Those conventions define us, to the extent that we allow for those to take over our beings.
Our sense of security is based on following those conventions.
Thereby, when someone is taken away from that “system,” a DISTANCE is created.
That distance is necessary to be AWARE.
Individuals walking the journey of Self-realization come in different shapes and forms, different backgrounds, different experiences; nevertheless; the common ground is the experience of moving from loneliness into aloneness.
Loneliness allows to create the DISTANCE by separation. That experience is miserable for the “I.” What is known, what brings security, certainty, company, comfort; all of that will go away. That is the opportunity to know “yourself,” the “I.”
Someone who is busy, who is caught up in a system, trying to become someone by accumulating power, wealth or by “helping” others in hope of a cushy afterlife; those are going towards the experience of loneliness, little by little, unknowingly, for there is so much the “I” could be enhanced before it starts to collapse.
The way out of loneliness is through aloneness. That is not a goal, something to achieve. It is a road we must go through once the avenue of loneliness is passed by.
Aloneness means integration, and that happens when that “I” opens up.
We cannot be stuck in Life unless we define ourselves. To maintain that definition may become our struggle, our goal, our objective. We could label that as “good” to “help us” but in reality; it is just a convention.
In Life, DISTANCE becomes the way to closeness, to ONENESS.
I know… it doesn’t make sense, hard to understand… That is why, it can never be a convention to follow. 🙂