When the mind is caught up with a duality, it has no option but to choose. Paradoxically, is that choice the one that will bring a terrible fight with the nonchosen one.
Pleasure and Pain are one example of such duality.
For centuries, the religious and moral teachings have been made to frown upon pleasure. Even the word “sinful” has been used to label it.
The “spiritual” teachings to deny the physical world and the senses, in the imaginary pursue of something “pure” in the “spirit” world; is utopia.
Life has many dimensions. Every dimension has a particular consciousness, a particular experience.
To deny the physical experience for the sake of pretending to attain a subtler state of being, is to deny Life.
When we deny Life in pursue of an ideal, we are not living harmoniously in the “now.”
The conditioned mind, understands what is “right” or “wrong.” That is the duality that our minds feel comfortable with.
Throw the word “harmony,” and the mind can only think of that as being the opposite of “imbalance.”
A dictionary definition does not bring the experience.
Harmony is the equilibrium of opposites.
Life works through opposites. Pain and pleasure are opposite experiences which are part of living Life in our dimension.
To deny them to attain the ideal of “freedom” is to become paradoxically, slave of such duality.
Humans throughout time; have chosen to embrace pain, sacrifice, martyrdom as the epitome of goodness, moral, sainthood, etc. In this “choice,” rejection of pleasure has brought an unbalanced Life.
Others have embraced pleasure as a reaction, as to desperately indulge in it to take their painful existence away from it; but as we deny one side of a duality, it will appear stronger in our lives.
Overcoming a duality is not a matter of rejection. It is a matter of balance, that is the ability to live Life in harmony with the internal and external elements, moment by moment. This balance needs to have the capacity to change and modify according to the circumstances, it is dynamic.
As we could see, it is not about defining ideals by embracing some and rejecting others.
As we dare to live outside of the conditioned mind, we will observe that balance as a gut feeling will take us back to the sensation of harmony. In that state, the word “overcoming” has no meaning. The “inner equalizer” will bring the stability to BE life itself. Equal to Life.
How do I get there?
You don’t. There is nothing to accomplish. Nothing to “work on.” When you ARE, you will not know it.
It is openness. There is no method to “achieve it.”
Be AWARE that only something that is closed, could be open.
Your potential to be open, is equal to your potential to be closed.
That is why, inner knowledge is about finding out how closed we are.
But we don’t want to see that. We want the fairy stories of “achieving” love and happiness, we “want” the utmost open state of BEING; when we ARE closing down… However, once the door is shut down, it could be open.
What do you tell someone who is suffering emotional pain?
Someone may be pleading for a way out of her insurmountable pain.
Pain has the characteristic of making someone focus, concentrate, or unwillingly give its full attention to suffering.
As pain increases, so is the strong desire to be spared of pain.
For most, that is the first episode in their lives; when vulnerability is felt. The “I” is incapable of escaping at will. There could be amelioration of physical pain through medicine, but emotional pain can only be postponed: We could become drunk to numb ourselves; but that pain will return; the complications will increase and hope of being “better” as time passes by, could be the only comfort at sight.
Yes, everything passes by. As it came, it will go away.
Have you ever experienced a broken relationship?
The death of a loving relative?
A deep disappointment in Life?
The pounding feeling, the relentless revival of the experience, the endless taste of guilt mixed with despair, anguish…
All of that will pass. It will go away.
The size of your “I” will decide how long that experience stays.
Many times, we make yet another trauma of those painful experiences, but I assure you; those are not there to feed the “Poor I, Poor me,” pose, which only adds ego.
Those are there, to show you what your “I” is made of. Be aware of that, for nothing else will be able to make you aware of what you are made of.
See it. Acknowledge it. Accept it.
Instead, we defend “ourselves,” we create a story where “I” need to save face despite what Life is showing me.
The “I” don’t want to see that, arrives… but in time it will open her eyes.
Life experiences are able to change someone. Nothing else will do.
When suffering is there, you may wish that you did not exist, just so the “I” could run away from the pain.
Many times we have been able to do that, but there are other times; when it is impossible.
Want to try suicide, perhaps?
That only postpones and amplifies the experience of pain. As long as the “I” escapes, there cannot be change, and Life… is change.
It is in that impossibility where the “I” will die, to be someone else.
Newness comes after death of the “I.” It has always been like that. 🙂
A reader asked to go into this topic.
First, for most people “love” is the duality between hate and love.
For most people, you “love” what you possess and you hate it, if you cannot.
For most people, you suffer if you don’t love, and if you do; you still suffer for there is fear of abandonment. You want security.
For most people, “love” is a problem.
In a “romantic” relationship as long as someone is not psychologically independent, self-sufficient, there will be neediness. How do you “fix” this?
By loving yourself first. By being at ease with your own company.
Love to the self is not an idea. By caressing yourself, touching your hand with love, taking care of your body and your overall wellness, by enjoying your own presence alone… we will learn to feel love for our presence, to pamper ourselves. Crazy?
That is what we have learned in our society. You DO those things to another, but never to yourself… That is sickening… Well, if you want to go somewhere as as a seeker, you must start with acceptance of “you.” That acceptance means to understand that in “You,” the 2 poles of masculine and feminine are present.
If you are not ready for this, then you will look for another to “love” as a hungry man looks for food, for his belly has a need that must be satisfied.
That is why, LOVE is the natural consequence of BEING at PEACE with yourself.
Before that, we cannot speak about love, but about the duality of hate/love- Infatuation.
Thus, according to our consciousness, we will respond to a not corresponded romantic love.
In the most common type of consciousness, it will be about feeling anger, hate to protect our ego. When the ego is traumatized, even some “romantics” could take their life away. For them, Life has ended.
As we reach internal maturity, when we ARE love; Love still will exist, although the original person may not be there to share it with. That experience is welcomed for that is how we learn to remain vulnerable and open despite emotional pain. To learn to deal with that emotional anguish is certainly a proof of maturity.
Hope is over. It is time to move on. Moving on means to be open for another experience without the burden of the past.
What we see as attractive in another is not our choice. The way we feel for another, we did not choose. Do we see that?
The experience of not being corresponded only increases the size of our heart through assimilated pain when the ego does not make it into a traumatic experience. Life is a game! Our openness to love shall remain to grow. When you close yourself, Life is over. You may have security, but your mental jail cannot be called Life or to be free.
Paradoxically, emotional pain is what allows the expansion of our consciousness when accepted.
If we see the “educational” side of that experience, there will growth. If we focus on the trauma, there will be pain, bitterness, hate and insecurity… More ego.
That same emotional experience can have 2 different effects to different type of consciousness.
Therefore, every situation depends on who you ARE at that time.
…And just when I thought that to be tough is all there is in Life, I found that toughness is the biggest vulnerability someone could have.
When there is no awareness, we could be taught to put up an image in front of the world just to protect our own pettiness.
It is the typical “office world” mentality of “marketing ourselves” to boast about our strengths and to “fake it until we make it.”
That is the world of pressuring ourselves to “succeed.”
Nothing wrong with that world.
Nevertheless, in Life in our relationships with people it is of great importance to show who we are.
A relationship grows in depth as we take off our layers of protection, as we stripe our image and show our vulnerabilities… At that point we are not an ideal anymore, a prototype for everyone to follow…
There is no need to make a list of our own vulnerabilities and to “practice” those in front of loved ones. We just need to allow ourselves to be.
Censorship and rejection could be experienced, and that is fine. We are not supposed to be like everyone else.
That is the first point in self-awareness: Totally acceptance of ourselves; our shadow and our light.
If we have not reached that point, if there is not acceptance, then our interaction with ourselves and others will be a faked one. There will not be fulfillment experienced in relationships as we cannot be ourselves.
When we display our vulnerabilities in awareness, we could know others. For those will be triggers for others to react in judgment, censorship or advice. In turn, that will give us the chance to test our “strength,” meaning our emptiness of “I.”
Without awareness, to display our vulnerabilities will be a source of pain and suffering, for we will feel hurt. That trauma will need to be healed.
The image of the “tough guy” is in vogue. That “toughness” is just meant to conceal the fear of being just who we are. To be tough, we need to set aside our true feelings and with that the opportunity to experience living from the heart.
Vulnerabilities will dissolve in relationship with others, but only for the one who is aware. For the one who is not, it will be the source of belittlement and the need to work on his “image” by building a mental layer of shielding armor.
Emotionally, when our heart is vulnerable, when it is trusting and open, it may get hurt and that is the opportunity to heal through our accumulated strength. It is the perfect chance to see how far we have gone.
If that same heart is tough, hard and closed… not trusting anything…it may not get hurt, because it is already in pain. That is another paradox of Life.
For that closed heart, to live is a fearful experience and to close itself into a small box just to feel safe, is the extent of its “toughness.”
To open our heart despite the possibility of being hurt is an act of courage, and act of affirming the intrinsic necessity to feel Life…and at the same time; the path to experience no-self.
Pain is not to be feared, but transformed. 🙂
Self-realization is a gift to mankind. The “I” offers itself to be no-self.
The “I” with all its tricks, desires, wants, plans, etc. will go away little by little creating pain and agony in “going away” from Life, just to be someone different, unknown, mysterious.
That offer is not related with an ulterior motive. It is to be part of the Totality through a particular role, according to time.
In a way self-realization is unpredictable like death. We could plan all we want for the future, but when the time arrives, there is no going back.
While experiencing this “death,” there is very little interest in any hopeful belief system for the future; in the “after life.”
Being one with Life is not in the future. It is right now.
The wonderful “I” with all his beliefs of salvation and a better Life in the future are left aside to embrace what is now. Fulfillment, enjoyment, appreciation of Life are in the “now.”
Here there is no praying necessary, nor any special offers to the Gods to be made. There is no promise of any kind to no one.
Life has no promises other than being what is, thus a feeling of appreciation to Life is the ingredient to enjoy it.
We are free.
Do we want a method to reach “heaven”?
Do we want everlasting “insurance” and good “karma”?
Do we want to be happy in this Life?
Then, why is it that Self-realization is not being preached to others, why is it not being taught to others rather than beliefs in everlasting life in the afterlife?
We cannot teach it or preach it. It is not something to be taught or learned from a book. No one knows how to get “there,” even if there is experience of it.
That is why there are so many beliefs and so many holy books instead. Those are things that most everyone could understand or interpret, the method to “get there;” to attain that “special” state, everyone wants to play it safe by following a “planned out” trip to “Heaven,” “risk free.”
All you need to do is to believe, to follow, to entertain yourself with the thought that you are getting there, becoming, arriving … soon…
If there is no method, if there is no way to proactively pursue and obtain that self-realization, what could be “done” to attain it?
Nothing. So enjoy what is.
It is not about “doing.”
It will happen when we are ready, not before or after. “Being” ready is not about “doing” things.
When we have gone through the experiences of the pendulum of Life from one extreme to the other, and our capacity for experiencing suffering has reached its peak, in the depth of that darkness; perhaps light could be seen.
As the “I” takes that helping light to move out of that space of suffering, the “I” perhaps will realize through the experiences of Life, that there is only suffering because there is “I.”
That is a day to celebrate!
The very thing the “I“ has been struggling to and searching everywhere to attain, is in the absence of that “I.”
The medicine resides in the disease.
Suffering= “I.” Pleasure= “I.”
Thus, duality = “I.”
Nevertheless, observe how our society from time immemorial, has been trying to build up that “I,” through beliefs in the eternal permanence of that “I.” Isn’t that ironic?
Some say “Life is suffering.”
That is nonsense; although many are repeating and spreading that line of “spiritual wisdom.”
Life is the mirror of the “I.”
The “I” suffers.
How is the “I” capable of being one with Life?
It does not mean that we shouldn’t feel pleasure or pain. NO! It means that while experiencing those experiences we could understand the “I.”
The trauma of the experience, the anxiety, the neediness, the “I cannot live without it” state or the “I need more of that;” those are the ingredients which acknowledge a well built up “I.”
If we stop the urge out of compulsion to practice asceticism or if we go all out for it in full indulgence, both extremes will increase our experience of suffering. It is the “I” driving the show.
Do we see that?
Thus, the middle-way… which is not “middle-way,” but there are no words to express inner balance within Life.
The word is harmony. Behind that word there is absolute emptiness.
Ohh.. now I get it! That is why the “I” cannot “do” anything to become one with Life!
Because anything the “I” does, takes the “I” away from Life. It is the doing of the “I” which gives greater presence to the “I.”
You said it. However, know that it cannot be said. For everything which is said, it is half-truth and half-false. Duality within words.
Words are only deceiving pointers to a place with no name.
Do you see the “truth” of this article?
See its “falsehood” as well.
The “truth” cannot be written in words.
Until July 6th! 🙂
Everything has a process in life. The process between being born and dying is what we call life.
The process on how daylight changes into night, we call day.
The process on how an infant becomes an engineer, we call “studying.”
The process on how an enemy becomes a friend, we call conciliation.
In Spirituality to respect that process of change is very important.
For example, any sort of denial of something that we used to like, “cold turkey;” will have later consequences if we have not “processed” that process.
If I am used to eating meat and I have developed a taste for it; there is a process in becoming vegetarian.
If I am to live alone to discover my inner world; there is a process to that end.
If celibacy is my chosen path; there is a process to get there.
That process changes among individuals. We are not the same. That is what is truly important to respect.
Many times, we acquire a disease unknowingly, due to lack of self-observation: Anger could be what I express through my feelings due to a situation/person which is not desirable. That emotional outburst has a build up process, which will manifest clearly in the body as a disease, in time.
It takes time to get there and because there is a process; it will take time to come out.
However, once there is a realization of this disease, a desire to be “cured” right away, “miraculously” will appear.
At that point, we have forgotten the “process” to heal.
In life, we may have experienced something which is bringing us down, that is something which is triggering suffering in us, unless we use the Spiritual tool of observation and become able to catch this episode; then suffering will continue on.
It is “me” rejecting what is happening.
To realize that pain, that suffering through acceptance; means to start the process of healing.
Any process of healing related with emotional pain, starts in solitude. Our tendency is to busy ourselves, but only by letting that pain in, completely and accept it without escape; is how that pain will move on by itself. There is a process in that. We need to nurture that process.
Energetically speaking, the energy of pain and sorrow, could be let go through our hands in contact with Nature. Someone who is not at ease, will be “overcharged” with negativity which needs to come out and that energy, be transformed by Mother Nature.
At that point, the inner work with our mind could take place.
Mind created thoughts are not real. That life in our heads is merely an illusion. Life continues on shining, when we come out of our self-absorption; that trance which only allows us to see gray shadows in our lives. We only see “Me,” alone through our minds.
The process of healing will finish once our feelings have changed. That is, once the situation has been transcended; once a smile comes out easily and unexpectedly from the vibes of our heart. An open heart is an accepting heart.
How long does it take for this process? As long as it takes us to realize and “implement” an open, accepting heart.
New energy will be expressed once feelings have been transformed.
When a spiritual teaching recommends to always “give pure feelings and good wishes to all;” that teaching is stating that process of energetic transformation.
That teaching is truly acknowledging that change of feelings, which is the end product of that self-healing process.
In a way, the experience of emotional pain and suffering are the ingredients for good wishes and pure feelings to all; for in that experience of transformation of self energies through feelings; is how we will know the practical aspect.
Transforming our own energies is a matter of having the chance to do it.
That is , we will be experienced in our own process of emotional healing.
“just a realization, and hope you can awaken me further! pain does not mean suffering, pain is physical, yet suffering is mental however once I point that out as pain, then there is suffering right there however once it is observed as it is then there is non duality – no suffering.”
Thank you for sharing your realization with us.
There is physical suffering/pain and there is emotional, psychological suffering/pain.
When we talk about the experience of non-duality, it does not mean that we will not experience physical pain. At the physical level there is pain and pleasure. Both of them are experiences which come and go.
The issue is not to make those experiences a trauma or “something we cannot live without;” such as the experience of a particular pleasure.
There is pleasure in looking at the Sunset or a full moon surrounded by stars. There is pleasure in looking at the beauty of a smiling face or a hummingbird ready to fly…Experiences, moments which a healthy mind does not depend on or rejects. Likewise, the painful experience of being burned by the Sun while riding a bicycle at noon when it is outside 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shadow; is an experience which only marks a limit. That is what physical pain does.
Emotionally, there are experiences which we treasure or reject. That is duality. Psychologically, all experiences are neither “good” nor “bad.” Just experiences. Our internal label and traumatic, dramatic “interpretation” of a experience is what makes that experience more than what it is. Then, we choose, then we experience duality in that choosing.
Here is the example:
John and Carl had a fight. The 14 year old Carl beat up his “friend,” John; who was 12 years old at the time. Carl then spat at John’s face with anger, and left him laying on the floor. John’s felt pain, his body was aching but after a week; everything went back to normal. However, John’s mind was resented for many years after that incident.
John never forgot that experience. John resented Carl for what he had done to him. John felt humiliated and carried that trauma with him in his older years.
John made that experience of being spat on the face, a trauma which caused him mental suffering.
On the other hand, one man spat at Buddha’s face. His disciple, Ananda said:”This is too much. Give me permission to show this man what he has done.” The Buddha cleaned his face and spoke to the man:
“Thank you for bringing this experience to us. I could see that there was no anger in me whatsoever. It was a great experience for Ananda as well. Next time you feel the irresistible urge to spit at someone, please come see us again.” The Buddha was saying this with great appreciation and gratitude thankful for that event which allowed him to discover his “true” nature. That is acceptance and appreciation.
That man couldn’t sleep that night for he was thinking about that episode which he couldn’t believe. He was seeing Buddha’s eyes filled with compassion and thankfulness… The next day he came back to Buddha asking for his forgiveness.
The Buddha was sitting by the Ganges. The Buddha said: ” Lots of water have gone by already in this river. Why are you still carrying with you what happened yesterday?” The man asked for forgiveness. Buddha replied:” I cannot forgive you for I didn’t get angry with you. Just forget. But if getting forgiveness is what you need, go ask Ananda; he will be happy to give you that.”
The Buddha observed the events as they were. He saw that event as an opportunity to find his own Buddha nature. He did not act out of fear or convenience. He did not choose. He simply appreciated and accepted the events as they were.
When someone is in the path of self realization, every opportunity is a chance to discover that “buddha nature,” therefore, the “good ones and the bad ones” around us create the right environment for that realization to take place.
In psychological suffering the question is: Who is suffering? When the answer is “I” then you know that our mental creation known as the “ego,” is there giving “life” to something that no longer exists. That “life” is food to nourish the ego. A “normal” response out of ego means anger, fear, resentment, revenge, etc. that is “normal” behavior.
Transcending duality means to go beyond ego. That is “soul consciousness,” which Avyakt7 rather call “consciousness.”