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?
Life is open for many views. Humans are concerned in finding the correct view, the “truth.”
For example, what if I say that God and Santa Claus have similar life expectancy. Let me push a button: I could assure everyone that we are all predestined. There is no free will… “You” are not in charge of your destiny, because there is no “you.” That “I” is only a mirage… although persistent, “real.” Did I push any buttons? How do you like “my” truth? 🙂 Not a “best seller” material for sure.
Probably most readers will not believe that “nonsense.”
The above is not part of the collective experience where pampering the “I” is a “must have.”
The collective experience is invested “In God, we trust.” The collective experience is sure that “I” am in charge of my own destiny. I just need tools, methods, techniques to get what “I” want in Life; from a “good job” to illumination. It is all about “me.” The collective experience believes in free will. That is the material of “best sellers.” It must be the “truth.”
Here is the catch: Both contradictory statements (mine and the collective consciousness) are “true.”
How is that possible? Different people, different consciousness.
Look at the sky. Do you think that because you see blue there, the color of the sky is blue?
We can only “see” what our eyes will allow us to see. Whether that is “real” or not, we will never know; for any time we “see” things, we are coming from a particular perspective given by our organs of perception.
Life accommodates every “truth,” every belief.
You want to believe in heaven. Fine. You don’t want to. Fine too. No problem.
Life does not mind about our beliefs in “truth.” We are defined by our perceptions.
As we open up to Life, we will not define ourselves through our beliefs, ideas, experiences, traditions… truths.
It is a matter of perception… and all efforts made to find the “truth” are futile. Our search for “truth” does not matter at all. That is my statement.
Humans are so good about fighting for ideas! That is how we can easily demonstrate that humans are living in their minds.
Beliefs, traditions, dogmas, ideas, ideals, truths… are all unnecessary.
Those are keeping our minds in a cage.
If you call your belief “truth,” then use the same label for the others as well. Those are “truths” too.
But, which one is the only truth? That is all I want to know!!!
Please, don’t waste your precious life in that. We are all bubbles. We go on for a few seconds and then disappear in the vastness of Life.
Is it true that we are bubbles? No! We are soap mixed with water.
So, are we truly soap OR water? We are truly soap AND water! Not bubbles.
What makes water? What makes soap?
Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of Oxygen.
Soap is made of Sodium Hydroxide, (NaOH) water and oils… and the nonsense goes on… More research, more “light” into the “ultimate question.” Give me a break!
As we dissect who we are, as we go smaller, we will discover that we become “larger” for we share the same components with everything else…. We are everything! But that realization does not bring any change in consciousness.
The world of ideas and the mind interested in finding the “truth,” is missing the opportunity to enjoy the existence of being a bubble. That is all! That experience is precious, that is the “now” without the interference of the mind.
That experience is only meant to BE. It doesn’t matter who is “right” or “wrong.” It doesn’t matter if our belief is the “truth.” What matters is if there is a constant and honest sense of relaxation, wellness in us, coming from enjoyment of our experience in Life. That translates into an easy smile in our faces. We are fulfilled. That experience may be the “truth” but if it is not, what a fantastic falsehood it is!
“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.” 🙂
Observe that I have purposely used conditioned terminology: Truth, Doctrine and God.
Those 3 words have all the ingredients to enhance any “spiritual” message, to make it sound important. That is the conditioning!
Life is. We live it. We are conscious of it. That is the gift.
To be conscious of BEING, to BE conscious of the surroundings including our own bodies, that is a fantastic experience!
When we wake up in the morning from sleeping, the gift of a new experience is right there. However, our minds will add conditioned thoughts to define our current newness with the past, it will unwind the reel of past experiences to shape up our perspective on things… That is how Life becomes the “same old thing.”
The interesting aspect is that we want to hang onto the known. That which is known to us, secure, unchangeable which basically follows the pattern of our mind: The mind welcomes static things, lifeless things, something that could be labeled and classified as “good or bad.” Those labels will remain unchanged through centuries of conditioning.
“Snake.” Observe the feeling that this word brings, the imagery, the emotions. Whatever it is, the bottom line is: Is it “good or bad”?
We are so lifeless when living through words!
The effect of hanging onto the known brings fear. Our minds are masters in the art of infusing fear.
Then, we search for God, we look for truth, for a doctrine to “save us” to keep us safe, to mitigate fear.
Life becomes a task, a DOING to accomplish that safety, whether that is through possession of goods, the pursue of god or the attainment of what is good. Do you see how similar those words are?
“God, goods, good.” Observe your feelings for those words, your emotions, your conditioning.
Life is away from all those words and their connotation and conditioning.
Your experience of BEING is related with feelings and those feelings get distorted through words, concepts, definitions.
Life is not about static “TRUTH.” It is about appreciation of perspectives (realities not reality) and thus, enjoyment of them. To allow them to change as Life changes, as BEING changes without the need of the artificial DOCTRINE (religious, political) that keeps things under control, to bring the sensation of safety, to calm down fear.
Away from that Life of concepts, ideals and conditioning Life IS.
Appreciation and enjoyment of “what is” without further labels, is the key for change, for self-transformation, self-realization, enlightenment and all of those “good” but meaningless words.
Life is away from our mind driven life. 🙂
To complete the last article, consider this:
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ( From Batman Begins)
The above is a “spiritual” quote with the teaching to “never give up.” Nevertheless, it is not the complete phrase describing Life.
“Why do we rise, sir? So that we can learn to fall.”
Now, that is the complete experience.
To rise and fall come in the same package. Those are not different things, as we have been conditioned to believe. Being “successful” is only a word that we use to segment our lives. Yes, you can be “successful” at work, in sports, in your family life, at church, and whatever else we may think that we are “successful” at. BUT, that is not the whole package.
What about your health? What about your inner peace? What about your fears? What about your sex life?
Are you “successful” in all those facets at the same time, for as long as you live?
Under the above “reality” the perception of “success” and “failure” will vanish.
Now consider this:
“The true path is to go North. Follow me.” Sounds familiar?
That is incomplete.
However, the sage came a few days later and said: “The true path is to go South. Follow me.”
His followers were baffled. Why is this sage contradicting himself? Logically, there is no “truth” in contradiction! He is not a sage at all!
Which one is the true path? It is North or South? There cannot be both!
The sage gave the full experience: North and South. His followers may need a little de-conditioning to understand that.
If you could walk North all the way on Earth, wouldn’t you end up South?
That is “reality.” However, our minds are conditioned to perceive North and South as 2 different things. The “reality” of their difference is only referential.
Most religious “spirituality” avoid the full experience and embraces only one side of their own creation of duality.
“Do not do this…” This is the “true” path!
What could be the practical lesson out of the above?
Any spiritual path which does not embrace the whole human experience, is only a partial path.
Any religious holy book embracing only one side of a duality, is not the complete path. It is partial. It may have benefits for followers, yes… but it is not complete.
Self-realization is a path of inclusion, completeness; where openness of that which we know as “I,” opens in such a way as to disappear in the immensity of Oneness.
That openness can be labeled as “surrender” ”egolessness” or some other “spiritual” label.
“You” are God, not because you ARE, but because “you” ARE NOT.
“You” are Life, not because you ARE the same as Life, but because “you” ARE NOT.
When “you” ARE, you cannot be anything else. “You” ARE stuck in “you,” so self-absorbed that “you” can only separate from everyone else and Life. The paradox being that that which we think we ARE, we ARE NOT. What you put in words, is not.
Perhaps, this is the main issue with “spirituality “for the masses:
It is so concerned in making believers become something that they ARE NOT instead of supporting the seeking of who they ARE.
When you find who you ARE, you will find all the answers, without asking a question. 🙂
“According to Krishnamurti, meditation is Life. According to Osho, meditation is a technique, according to Tolle, meditation is….”
That type of comparison and quoting of “words of wisdom,” maybe what we have learned in school when writing a paper on whatever topic. It may sound scholarly, very Wikipedia like and scientific; but for those seekers who are in Life to be one with it, the above is completely meaningless. It has no value other than trivia, intellectual information.
Being one with Life is not about complying with our ideas of what we/Life should be. For example, if someone meditates, that is alright but do not be naïve in believing that what you are DOING is “true” meditation. It is just your own spin of it, your perspective even though you maybe following some Guru’s recipe to the dot. Meditation is what you believe in , what you have experienced, but not what you have read or heard.
Many times, followers will be copying the “words of wisdom” of their gurus, and using them as if those were their own realizations. In the scholar world, we give credit to the source of our “wisdom” if is not ours; but in “Spirituality” because there is no copyright on experiences, something is “yours” if you have experienced yourself. Then, talk about it, explain it with your own words. Say “in my own experience.” However, most like to say at this point, “the truth is….”
One of the most celebrated cliché phrases in “spirituality” is: “Every religion talks about the same truth, just in different ways.”
We are sold on that cliché, for it is nice to acknowledge every religion, or spiritual path as having the “truth.” We will make many friends, and sell many books through that phrase.
Nevertheless, whoever is saying that does not know.
“The truth” is not some story about redemption.
Find the truth in yourself.
Cryptic, huh? Similar to the cliché “know thyself.”
Here is the catch. Those who know cannot give more details about it. Why? Because it is a personal experience. Life will give those experiences to those who are ready. Every attempt to explain a personal experience to others by “enlightened” people, has evolved into a religion/spiritual movement thanks to unaware followers.
There is no “method.” No “solution.” No “practice.” Although, to get there, we may have gone through many methods, many solutions and many practices before.
Because we need the experiences to get us to the point of being ready.
Many spiritual books have been already written, many concepts have been followed to attain God, Salvation, self-realization, etc.
My “money back guarantee” is that none of them, can take us to our own truth. None of them.
It takes awareness, being awake, de-conditioned, “tabula rasa,” transparency, unadulterated honesty, etc. (many words to refer to the unexplainable) to get there. This is a process through Life experiences, not chapters of a book to be read and studied.
On this path of knowing your own truth, misinterpretation from others, misunderstanding from others, opposition from others are sure to come our way. That is the story of many “avatars” throughout human history: Imprisonment, persecution, even crucifixion.. but once they are death; they are remembered through the memory of confusing human writings. 🙂
Life cannot be explained through words.
Any attempt to explain it becomes only a limited perspective.
“Seekers” embrace different belief systems with the attempt to explain Life: “After you die, your spirit will continue on…” That is one belief which will separate into other beliefs: You will either go to heaven or hell OR you will take birth again in another body. But there are many other alternatives. Then, the confused “seeker” will want to know the “truth.” What is the “truth”?
Whatever it is, it cannot be explained through language without using our conditioned mind and limited experiences to make sense of something completely new. Thus, be aware that many times all we get are just mental speculations until we experience the experience ourselves.
Let us say that we live in the 1600. We see a supersonic fighting plane in our dreams.
Observe that anyway we explain the dream, it will be short from the truth. We could say something like: “I dreamt about a very fast flying object.” I cannot say “plane” for that label is not yet known. My description will be very lame.
What material is the plane made of? How fast does it fly on the sky? What sort of engine it uses? I saw something but I don’t know much about it. I can only use my limited past experience to explain something new. However, if someone else had the same dream, little words will suffice for mutual understanding.
The same concept applies with any explanation that individuals have about Life and the afterlife or the spirit world, etc. They may have experienced things but in the language that they use to transmit their experiences to others; there is plenty of inaccuracies and assumptions.
Therefore, any explanation of the unknown, is limited by knowable terms.
It is said that Gautama Buddha was silent when someone asked him about God. What was the general interpretation?
“Buddha does not know God. Buddha is an atheist, that is why he is silent.” However, I can see know his compassion. Silence is the alternative to an amicable lie.
Similarly, a state of being which hasn’t been experienced, cannot be understood intellectually through words. For instance, the use of comparisons is typical in our society. Our language thrives through the use of comparisons, without them we could not understand properly what someone means.
A self-realized individual does not compare with others. His BEING does not depend on the duality of higher/lower than, but yet when using language to make a point, a comparison may need to be used.
What is the general misinterpretation? A person cannot be self-realized if he is comparing. People driven by the mind, typically judge based on language alone. “He said this, therefore; he IS like that.”
Any knowing that is worthwhile in Life, is not reflected in just words. Look beyond the words. The mystery of Life is not meant to be explained through belief systems. None of them could have “truth” when our dualistic language cannot allow it. The mystery of Life is meant to be lived, experienced and that “knowing” cannot be transmitted to another. It has to be lived, experienced to be understood.
In our society to “re-invent the wheel” is considered to be a waste of time and resources. However, in Life; that is the way to legitimately know. 🙂