Is there Life after death?
Generally, no. Neither for “you” or “I.”
What is death?
The complementary state of Life.
Is death painful?
Once “you” are death, No.
What happens after death?
You will find out, but “you” will not remember.
How does rebirth happen?
When “you” are no longer there, someone else is.
These kinds of questions will fill our minds. When a dear one dies, then we say : “How lucky I am !” and we will continue on with our “objectives,” “goals,” and “successful activities” as if there was no death at the end of the road, to wash away all of our “accomplishments.”
Our society has sold us the idea that there is a permanent “Me,” an unchanging “I” that needs to continue on in “heaven,” the “afterlife,” in another realm, even if it is “hell,” but “I” must continue.
In another realm, “I” will take a new label as a name: “Spirit” is good, “atma” (soul) is better…
A religion is nothing else but insurance for the “afterlife.” Your monthly payments are due now, while alive and then you are promised that “you” will get the pay off “over there.” What a sweet deal!
“The office world” will sell us “insurance” to be prepared for those events that we cannot control. With a little money back, we believe that we could compensate any “loss” from any “act of god.” But it doesn’t finish there. “I” have to take care of “my” family too, even though “I” am no longer here. The message is clear: “Live for others.” Worry, preoccupy in making sure that “part of you” survives very well, despite “you” going away.
Your heirs may not give a damn about the little cash you left, but “you” think that “you” have fulfilled your duties. A golden star in your chart when God counts your virtues for the final judgment, hell vs. heaven! Yeah It is all about “you.”
Our Life is filled with fear and then we fear death. Isn’t that a sorry state to be in?
If that “I” dies while living Life; who could die, when death arrives? That is the riddle!
I know, it is hard to “get it.” However, it is not meant to be “gotten.” It is meant to be experienced.
When? When you are ready. Until then, enjoy “your” Life.
Questions have been answered straight to the point, so free “yourself,” let your mind go for a walk, a long walk…. to enjoy. 🙂
Spirituality is related with the word “spirit” and that word is open to many meanings. How can we talk about “spirit” without the experience? Could a blind person speak about light?
Obviously, whatever he says about light will be far from what is, although he could speak scientifically about wavelengths and color spectrums. There is no experience. Nevertheless, even if we are not blind, whatever we say about light cannot be the “truth” but merely a description of it, of our own experience with “light”. The same principle applies when trying to make sense of “holy books” or “spiritual best sellers,” words cannot convey ‘truth’ only a partial description.
The other day I was talking with friends about “spirituality.” (i.e. Making the human experience “better”) Someone “discovered” (heard from others) that the problem of human suffering was related with ego.
“Get rid of the ego and you are free,” she said.
Bravo! That is the solution that most everyone knows. Why is not working? Why “knowing” the solution is not bringing the expected fruits? Oh! You need to “practice,” to follow the “right” method.
That is the next belief in the chain. What are you going to practice? An idea of what someone told you to be “right”?
Most are not AWARE of ego. Most only have concepts about it. Thus, how is it possible for ego to be dissolved, to SURRENDER it?
That is a key question.
Intellectual understanding of a concept does not change the individual. That is why “spirituality” as it is “now” is pure hogwash; nevertheless, “inspirational.” Any concepts that we bring in, will not accomplish the goal of “creating better human beings.” It will be all “pretty” talk; collectively we have become used to this.
Spiritual people ask the question: Who Am I? Any conceptual answer will not bring the experience of knowing ourselves. Because there is no AWARENESS, we could go on with some belief or with some dishonest phrase: We consistently say “I,” without knowing who that “I” is. We embrace another label such as “soul” or any other “spiritual” term, then we are “happy” with, for we believe to have the “right” answer.
When we are AWARE, we could perceive that we are not the body. Breathing happens. I am not DOING it. The heart pumps blood, I am not DOING it, thus; how can I say that “I am the body?”
When we are AWARE we could perceive that we are not the mind. Thoughts come and go without “my” control. They just appear and I want for them to go away, but I cannot DO that.
When we are AWARE we could see that any concept that I have not experienced, it is just conditioned information, “knowledge” coming from the mind.
Soul, Spirit, etc. are such learned concepts. I want to believe to be those, although I don’t know if I have experienced what the label entails, so I can be “spiritual” but I am faking it. If you have experienced to be a soul or spirit, please do me a favor: Change the label... Pick any other label, for your experience will be different from that of others.
When we are AWARE we recognize that “I will not be able to find who I am” for “I am always changing.” Paradoxically, I am the body, I am the mind, I am the soul, the spirit, I am ALL of those things that we believe to be, so why label to separate?
Paradoxically, the question “Who Am I?” is most important to formulate as long as I am not looking for an answer. Can the mind “understand that”?
Probably not. That is why, get out of the mind if you would like to experience you own wordless reality. That is part of deconditioning.
If you observe your own mind, you will be AWARE of it and then you will understand what the word ego, the “I” means, without using a dictionary definition.
Please be AWARE of this: We cannot live in the “NOW” as long as our mind IS. The mind is past or future only. To say: “I want my mind to be in the Now” is an ignorant remark for lack of awareness.
If you are in the NOW, you are in No-Mind.
Don’t believe me. Try it at home… BE AWARE of all of these things, so SURRENDERING happens.
If you believe that “I will surrender,” even though this phrase may be grammatically correct, in “spirituality” that phrase is completely senseless.
I am glad you asked. That is for you to find out. Your own journey.
Until March 20th! 🙂
“What are the causes of overeating and being overweight? I am curious to know about it from a spiritual angle.”
Thank you for your question.
First, Ahnanda does not write from any particular angle. You may believe that this is the “spiritual” angle; but then what is “spiritual”?
What is spirituality? Who decided to coin that name related with “spirits” rather than human beings?
When we are aware that we are endlessly dividing one self into body, spirit, soul, etc. we will realize that one “part” cannot be without the other.
It is senseless to “limit” spirit from the body out of a mental idea. In “reality” body/spirit/ soul are together for human beings to manifest in the physical realm.
Ahnanda writes about Life and is interested in living Life in a sensible way. For me, that is the art to know and “practice.” That is why this blog is titled “Exploring the depth of Living” rather than “exploring spirituality.”
Now into your question…
“Overeating”is the keyword in your question.
“Why do we overeat?” Some anxious belief in being “better,” a need of being rewarded, the compulsion of savoring a permissible pleasure of Life which is “OK” in our society, as many other pleasures may be considered “wrong,” “bad,” “taboos.”
Observe that I am not telling you the “cause” or the “causes.” I am just observing your question in myself. That is my experience of overeating.
No need to find “reasons” and be “rational” about it, when dealing with “emotions.”
If we were AWARE that our hands are feeding us and then aware of how we eat our meals, then that AWARENESS will cure us from overeating. But because we are not AWARE, our compulsions, anxieties and need for gratification will cloud our consciousness. Our emotions will dictate our compulsive behavior.
Did that sound like “Psychology 101”?
Sorry about that. It is not. I am not researching “others” and testing on demographic samples. I am just observing, watching myself.
How do we label that? Under which angle do we classify that “activity”?
Curiosity is a good thing to “get the answer,” but to wonder may be the key to “have the answer.”
Because curiosity looks for answers. When we wonder, we are observing, fascinated by just that. It is in that AWARENESS how the answer arrives, for there is no need to answer what haven’t been questioned.
You just know. 🙂
Looking back , nothings has filled “me” with more fear than knowing that, “I” wasn’t following the “word of God.” That experience was necessary for “me” at that time. When fear needed to go away…then the “word of God,” went away as well. Thus, fear is not “bad” but necessary in our path of “learning” through experiences.
What could be the “word of God” if we understand that there are different perceptions due to different consciousness and that the “I” cannot change this consciousness?
Perhaps a different God may be needed for every type of consciousness.
What could be the “word of God,” if every word has a polarity, which will need to be discovered through experience by the one walking Life? Every truth is a half-truth, half-falsehood. Every Paradox defies logic and reason…
What could be the “word of God,” if interpretations abound and words have no way of expressing the changes of Life, time and consciousness?
Have you found God? 🙂
Great! Let me know when you have found yourself.
Oh! so you know God… Let me share this with you: You can only know yourself.
Searching and finding are part of the on-going-process, part of the journey, which will take us back to the beginning; back to that “I,” perhaps into “no-I.”
When there is “no-I,” who is there to fear? Life does not fear itself.
Less “I” is more love. Less “I” is less fear. Less “I” is more opening to Life, in that state of consciousness, what type of commandment is needed? In that state, what type of “salvation” is required?
We make “God” and naturally, the “Devil” was made as well. Duality 101.
“Is the body different than spirit?”
For some “spirit” is “good,” the ideal. The body is temptation, sin, “bad.”
The duality of body and spirit is made. The rejection is invented.
Consider this: The body and the spirit come from the same Nature, from the Totality. They are only different degrees of vibrational energy. That is all. Just like cold and heat. Different polarities.
Our selection and preference of one side of duality will sooner or later make us experience that which we reject, that which feel against, that which we have formed strong beliefs to move away from.
Because everything, the shadow and the light are together. Our preference of one side means our rejection to the other side of Life; we are rejecting a part of ourselves and in that rejection there is the cause, which will bring the effect to experience that which we reject.
“But… how do I deal with something, which is not desirable?”
First, forget that there is something “not desirable.”
Then, forget that there is something to reject.
Embrace through the alchemist transformation.
“What is that?”
Lead is the raw material to obtain Gold.
That which we reject is the path to experience self-transformation.
More “I” means more Lead, more raw material.
Less “I” means that there is more Gold available for all… and thus, for “you.”
“Where is God, the Devil, the spirit, the body in all of this?”
🙂 Where you believe them to be. Embrace those labels.
But if you reject them, use that raw material, that lead… to obtain “pure” Gold…
“Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything. You can begin making a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone that you encounter. I personally do this by making an effort to look upon my world as if I were observing it through lenses that filter out the form and all of the material aspects of what I am seeing, and can only view the spiritual energy that allows what I am noticing to exist. Try putting on these imaginary magical lenses and see how different everything appears…”
The paragraph above is an excerpt from an article in a magazine. The author is a well known “self-help” Guru, who wrote many “best sellers.”
Observe the assumptions. Observe the keywords used: Heaven, Spirit… and observe the “method:” To make a conscious effort to see something that he is not really seeing for the sake of conforming with his belief.
Observe the decision to make “spirit” as something more desirable than “matter” or our current perception.
That teaching has gone into mainstream. If Guru XYZ is perceived to be able to live in a realm of bliss and continuous delight, then that must be the “place” where “I” need to be. If Guru XYZ is seeing something that I don’t, let me “make an effort” to see the same, let me use my imagination and convince myself that this is the “real thing.”
The excerpt above has appeal to mainstream because it is able to give an easy “solution” for the perception of suffering = matter, mostly viewed and at the same time, it gently guides individuals into accepting a different perception of reality.
That acceptance comes automatically with the recognition of the “spiritual advancement” of the Guru writing the excerpt. “ He is a best seller author, he must be good and he must know what he is talking about!”
Heaven as Paradise is supposed to be a “place.” But that place does not exist without a new consciousness. People with new consciousness make that Heaven and not a place.
The belief of going to “heaven” without a change of consciousness is plain ego. There is no religion able to offer change of consciousness, but only change of behavior.
The “spirit” is consciousness. There are many individual spirits like individual human beings, but consciousness is One and for all, manifested according to our nature at a particular time. That consciousness is beyond the grasp of the “I” to change.
What the Guru wrote is not “bad” at all… It is not “wrong.” It is what his intellect was able to perceive. The issue is when followers call that the “truth” and would like to make their particular experiences to fit the Guru’s.
In my perception, I will honor what I perceive without trying to change it by playing mind games, knowing that my perception is not the “truth” but a perception, and that there are many other perceptions according to states of consciousness. The perception will change and the “I” will change as well.
What I find important is not the perception itself but our ability to enjoy that experience. Let me repeat that again. What is important is our ability to enjoy our perception, that experience while it lasts, for it will go away. That in itself brings openness to hear other perceptions, for we are not investing in a particular viewpoint.
The “I” changes as we allow for that change of perceptions. It is not about putting on “imaginary glasses” but we will see things under a different light when the rigid “I” opens up.
However the “I” is looking for “truth” for a piece of information to hold on to as that will give importance and support to the existence of that “I.”
“I have the truth.”
Let me give another example that I read in the same magazine by another Guru:
“In a Hindu text, a wise man is asked: ”Of all things in Life what is the most amazing?” He answers, “That a man seeing others die all around him, never thinks that he will die.” Taking time to reflect deeply on one’s own death with clarity, understanding and compassion, one can move out of denial, confusion and fear and focus on what is important: how to prepare for being present with the dying process, personally and with others. Reflection on death and impermanence is the portal to living a life of true meaning and happiness.”
Observe the words used, the assumptions, the “solutions.”
Does a man seeing that others are born all around him, ever wonder about his own birth?
Isn’t to die a process from the minute that we are born? Why separate dying and living if they go together?
What is the meaning of a “deep reflection” when in the “future,” we will be someone different?
The words “deep reflection” mean nothing, when there is observation of the changes in Life and openness, continuous acceptance, agreement with Life itself. Consciousness will be there even though “I” will die.
Learn to enjoy the experience of changes. It is all change, nothing could be destroyed… it just recycles.
How do I know that?
Because “I” am that, of course. Just like “you.” 🙂 Life itself.
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.
All diseases are psychosomatic. Observe that there is no separation between the body/mind/soul. It is a continuous of interlaced “things.”
Your stomach hurts? That stomach is related with other bodily parts as well as with emotions/sensations. To try to separate this “reality” of oneness is to create a problem for adaptation.
When there is lack of adaptation, there is a disease.
That is why, when we say: “I am a soul/spirit and not a body,” that innocent phrase creates rejection of the body by placing it below other things deemed to be “good,” “holy,” etc.
That rejection creates an aversion to the pleasurable sensations that the body could bring for the sake of being “spiritual.”
If we label “spirituality” as the absence of consciousness of a body, we are negating the reality of the wholeness of the experience of Life.
Therefore, the question “Who am I?” is a limit for adaptation.
As we define “who I am?” that which we think we “are not” becomes the “thing” to reject, negate, forget, and even pretend that it is not there.
A definition narrows down the extension of our “knowing,” what is meant to be without borders.
When something does not have artificially created borders, it is open for further exploration, it is open for newness.
Is the “virtue” of goodness something that you value in someone?
When that goodness is limited by our beliefs and philosophies; that goodness is no longer goodness but just a “picture” instead of the “real” thing.
Paradoxically, our concepts, our “knowledge” become a limitation to adapt to the changes in Life.
As Life changes, some would like to remain static in time:
Decaying rather than evolving; while believing in the virtue of being true to a static belief.
The old paradigm of dual moral teachings based on the acceptance of what is considered to be “good” over that which is considered to be “bad,” is no longer what is required for our consciousness to expand.
Because that paradigm brings guilt and fear, which in turn will not allow us to adapt to Life’s changes.
It is not that guilt and fear are “bad,” but they have timing. Those emotions could be a protection for sometime, to avoid acting in a certain way; but as Life changes and our consciousness do not, that guilt and fear become the ingredients for our own auto destruction.
As our consciousness grows, a different perception will arrive. It is called integration.
Some people like to call integration as “There is nothing bad.”
That definition becomes the door for misunderstanding.
Let me rephrase it: “There is nothing bad, because there is nothing good.” Everything is and by being what it is, there are only consequences, which will change according to time.
There is nothing static in Life, but our concepts, ideals, standards and the way our minds understand the world.
In that dissonance, it is difficult to flow with Life when all we are looking for is for Life to adapt to our needs and wants.
In a sentence, it is the drop of water wanting to control the Ocean.
Isn’t that ironic? If not plain stupid?