Monday, August 17, 2009

Spontaneous spiritual awakening

It's very rare that people experience a sudden and spontaneous spiritual awakening. It's, in fact, rare that people have any spiritual experiences at all. Spirituality is something we pick up from other people. We read about it or hear someone talk about it.

Books and spiritual teachings are not enough to bring about a transformation, no matter how good they are. Something else is needed. Eckhart Tolle claims that sudden awakening from out of nowhere is possible, but for most of us the “peace that passes all understanding” is nothing but a concept. Eckhart was deeply depressed for many years before his awakening but a deep depression is not enough either to bring about the awakening. Millions of people suffer from very deep depressions without waking up.

So, what can we do?

Eckhart writes in A New Earth that his book “can only awaken those who are ready”. Maybe those who are “not ready” should begin somewhere else. What do you think?

Many people learn how to meditate, how to observe the thoughts and how to defuse them, how to bring mindfulness into everyday situations and to return to the now again and again. Many people learn how to deal with muscular tension, restlessness and resistance in mindfulness meditation classes all over the world. This is a more useful method, I think, compared to waiting for a sudden awakening or reading about it. It doesn't bring about an immediate spiritual "Big Bang Awakening" but for sure, it will gradually bring about change.

The Buddhists say that meditation is like a boat. It can take you to the other side of the river but once you're there, you don’t need it anymore. Well, there are many different kinds of meditation. There are many different kinds of boats. However, some people say that, in fact, there is no river to cross. They say that the river is an illusion.

It is not easy to be a human being, that's for sure. And in the same time, it is. You don’t have to do anything or accomplish anything to be what you are.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Balance

A human being has two brain halves. Both are useful. Too intense use of one side only, during too many years, creates a dangerous imbalance.

We have an experiencing self and a thinking self. We have two legs for a reason; it makes it easier for us to walk. We have two eyes so we can see in 3D and two ears, but only one mouth. This is because, as they say in India, we should listen twice as much as we talk.

Too much focus on the material aspects of the world, the world of form, is not healthy, I think. Many people still believe that nothing but the material aspects of the world is real. However, too much focus on spirituality is not healthy either. I have met many people going nuts because of too much meditation, "spirituality" and religion.

But, how can you find out if you are focusing too hard at only one side of yourself and the world? How can you get to know if you are a space cadet or if you are awakened? How can you get to know if you are a brainwashed social climber or if you are efficient and successful? Well, you can’t, I guess. Alcoholics seldom have problems with alcohol. It is their families that suffer. A stressed out and fanatic social climber don’t see any problems with all his overtime. It is his children who suffer the consequences.

Nevertheless, many alcoholics do recover, many social climbers wake up from their spell, many space cadets land safely here on earth again and many depressed people suddenly begin to see the stars again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Suppose you wake up to some extent and sometimes are able to act from presence and not from habitual mind patterns. However, your family, workmates and friends are deeply trapped in rigid, fixed ideas about life. They know exactly how you should live your life, how you should dress and behave, how children must be raised and how work should be carried out. You realize that you have to adjust or you have to leave.

If you can’t leave because you have children you care for and you can’t take them with you, then you have to adjust and make the best you can of the situation.

Many Muslim girls and women suffer enormously, trapped in horrible medieval belief systems. Millions of low-cast Hindus suffer trapped in the primeval Indian cast system. In fact, all religious beliefs are nothing but prisons. Religion has absolutely nothing to do with ethics and morals.

However, people with modern secular and liberal ideas are also trapped in mental torture chambers. We have to work like slaves to support our and our children’s endless craving for electronic toys. Girls and women are unsatisfied with themselves and others because they don’t look like the top models and the top models look like if they are captives in a Nazi prison camp. And men are dissatisfied with themselves and others because they are complete failures compared to Becham, Tom Cruise or Bob Dylan.

“Depression is now ten times as prevalent as it was in 1960... How is this epidemic to be explained?” I read this in Martin Seligman’s book, “Authentic Happiness“. A ten time’s increase means an increase with 1000%. Isn’t this an amazing fact?

So how do we escape from our mental prisons? It is extremely difficult because it is our fellow prisoners who are our jailers. It seems hopeless! It seems hopeless but it is not. There is a way out. It is possible to wake up and abandon old ways of thinking even if people around you don't. You don't have to tell your jailers that you have abandoned their belief system and that you don't intend to create a new one. You can pretend that you are one of them. You can dress like them and talk like them and act like them but you don’t have to be one of them. Soon you will find that there are many other prisoners/wardens who have had enough. You will find that there is an huge underground movement growing here on earth who no longer believe in belief systems; people who no longer believe in Communism, Liberalism, Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, nothing. You will find them everywhere, in workplaces, in school, in the Middle East, in India, in Europe, in Africa...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

To play UNO with a twelve-year-old kid is fun if you don’t happen to win. A twelve-year-old kid can handle to lose a round or two, but if you are close to winning the third round, it is better to play your cards so that you lose. Otherwise, the fun will be over.

Some people can't take to lose an argument. They can be unfair, nasty and selfish but they don’t want to hear it. Some people can’t even take a hint that there are other ways of looking at life.

You can find such touchy and quick-tempered people everywhere, in workplaces, in schools and at home. Sometimes they make it all the way to the top and plunge countries to war and disaster, but they will never admit that they are or have been wrong.

You have to thread lightly when you are around them and and whatever you do, don’t suggest that they should try some relaxation technique.

Well, in life, we all have to play the selfish, unfair and nasty one, but we get over it. When the situation changes we change, or, perhaps, we find a way to come to terms with the situation. The nasty periods can last for days, weeks, or months, but if they extend for many years, they can become a second nature. Then we are in deep shit. We can ruin not only our own life but also the lives of many other people.

Isn’t it incredibly sad to think of it. How would you feel you if you had been mean and selfish all your life? For such people the luck is that they are not aware of their disease.
 
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