Saturday, November 21, 2009

The inner voice

Human beings think; optimistic thoughts, pessimistic thoughts, fantastic thoughts, stupid thoughts… This is one characteristic which makes us different from the animals. Certain areas in the brain (the language centers) process and produce thoughts. Our brain is wired for thinking. All human beings think, the Zen monks, the Yogis, all of us. Problems begin when we create beliefs and belief systems with our thoughts and then mistake our mental creations for the truth. And the crazier beliefs we create, and the more we believe in our crazy beliefs the more problems we create to ourselves and others.

Thoughts are not a problem, if we don’t make them into a problem. Those who are in the beginning stages of meditation practice often turn thoughts into a big problem. Those who have practiced some sort of meditation regularly over a longer period of time know that thoughts do not disappear. It is a matter of finding ways how to deal with them in a relaxed way. I can have wonderful, warm and friendly thoughts. And I can have amazingly stupid thoughts. Wonderful thoughts never create problems and stupid thoughts are just stupid thoughts popping in. I am not stupid because I have stupid thoughts in my head. A part of me can observe the thoughts and question them. This proves that I am not my thoughts.

The less energy we put into the thoughts, the less problematic they become and therefore we think less. We no longer create huge catastrophes within ourselves and around us.

The question is: Who is this observer of the thoughts? Who judges them? Who believes that they are true? Who notice that they are just thoughts?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Malicious design

I am home from work since two days now with a terrible cold. I don’t think it is the swine flu but it is pretty bad anyway.

The word materialism have different meanings but in philosophy it usually means the idea that all things are composed of matter. All phenomena, including consciousness are a result of material interaction. Materialists are non-dualists. They don’t believe in a spiritual world or a God or a bunch of Gods separate from the material world.

However, what is matter, really? Today most people know that solid matter, to more than 99,99 % consist of nothing, empty space between the electrons and the nucleus of the atom and empty space between the atoms. Isn’t this weird?

14 billion years ago the universe was much smaller than a tiny grain of sand. Suddenly, this tiny, tiny little grain of whatever exploded and our marvelous universe came into being. Matter, space and time were created in this Big Bang. Later, at some point in the evolution of things, the universe began to think and wonder and love and sing and dance.

I think that the materialist creation myth is as fantastic and spaced out as any of the religious myths.

If there is a God, a being, who has designed all this and who has a plan with it, no doubt this God must be incredible evil. How can someone come up with so many terrible diseases? How could he let the Holocaust happen without interfering? This is the question why I prefer to think of myself as a materialist.

All this is of course mind constructions. I can see this clearly, thanks to Eckhart. My description here is not a true description of how things really are. It is my ideas of what the reality is like.

We all have different ideas about the reality of things, what life is about and what is right or wrong. We all have different ideas about what awakening is. We have different ideas about what transformation is. We have different ideas about everything. But the ideas are just ideas.

Beliefs or knowledge?

A lot of problems are created. I think, when we mistake beliefs for knowledge. Here is the root cause of all the religious and political wars and the reason for conflict between people. If you believe that something is absolutely right and I strongly believe that this is a missunderstanding, we will soon find ourselves arguing. If you believe that the world was created 6000 years ago, I believe that the world was created 14 billion years ago and someone else is believing that the world was never created, that it has always been, then we are not on the same page. None of us know, but we believe that we do. The beliefs have separated us.

We can live with different ideas about how the world was created or if it is possible to communicate with the dead, the real problems begin if you believe in racism, for example, that some are stronger and the weaker must die, or if you believe that nothing really matters, that everything is meaningless There are so many fights within families because of different ideas about how life should be lived or how kids should be raised. There are so many fights on this planet about things we don’t have a clue about.

Do you believe that everybody is happy in his own way? The Islamist suicide bombers are happy because they “know” that they will go straight to Paradise and the fundamentalist Jews are happy with the belief that they are Gods chosen people and that they have rights that the Palestinians in Gaza don’t have.

It would be better, I think, if we all could see that beliefs are just beliefs, castles in the air. I think that this is what waking up is about.

We don't know much.

Science don’t know how life originated here on earth. Scientists have of course different theories about it but none of them knows for sure.

It is different with the religious people. They have all the answers. God created the world 6000 years ago. Don't play no tricks with me. Some say that the universe has always existed and some are totally convinced that life was introduced here on earth by a highly evolved civilization from another galaxy.

Billy Graham, for example, knows exactly what is right and what is wrong. He says that God gave us rules to live by. “You can’t play football without any rules.” He is totally oblivious of the fact that there are thousands of different "rules" that different Gods have given to mankind.

Some people talk about the Source and glimmering lights, some talk about complicated chemical reactions, some talk about aliens from outer space and some talk about Brahman.

Isn’t it about time to agree now that we don’t have a clue what life is about, why we are here, where we are coming from and where we are going. We are lost, all of us. We are right here, right now but we don’t know why.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We don't need the religions

I believe that at the core of a human being there is friendliness. Yes, we can be pretty nasty with each other but this happens only when we are off track. We are friendly when everything is ok, when we have nice friends around, when we are relaxed. Friendliness is our true nature. We don’t need any religious teachings for this friendliness.

The religions and the philosophies are superfluous. We don’t have to believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins if we want to make ourselves a cup of coffee. We don’t need any spiritual teachings at all to go for a walk.

All religions should be abandoned

I have read a few of Karen Armstrong’s books and found them very interesting, however, when she writes in a `Charter for Compassion´ that the principle of compassion lies at the hart of all religious traditions I don’t agree with her.

At the heart of Hinduism you will find the cast system. High cast Hindus show very little compassion towards low cast Hindus or outcasts. They have a lot of interesting old scriptures and philosophies, but the practice have always been about who is more and who is less worth.

Christianity was created about 325 AD when it was decided which were the true words of Jesus. Christians have never in history showed much compassion towards non Christians or those with a different view about what Christianity is. Yes, there are some nice words in the New Testament but there are also a lot of rubbish.

At the heart of Islam was Jihad, the holy war. The Arabs were warriors who conquered the world. All the different clans were united in the new faith. All men were equal. Their faith made them strong.

I think that all the religions should be abandoned. Religions belong to the past, they belong to the Old World.

Also the ideologies should be abandoned, I think. Nazism, Fascism, Social Darwinism, Biologism, Communism, Liberalism, Modernism and Postmodernism, all ideologies and mental constructions belong to the Old World.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is awakening?

I had this thought today. All people are awake. It's just that some people are not aware of it.

Maybe you think like this: “I’m so stupid. I’m so fuckin lazy. I eat too much junk food. I watch too much crap on TV. I have so many stupid thoughts in my head. How can I be awake? When I wake up my life will change. I must take up my meditation practice again. To be awake is a completely different state of mind. It is definitely not this what I experience now. Eckhart and Buddha and Adyashanti and all the awakened people are not like me.”

Maybe you think like this: “I have studied so hard under so many years. I have been to so many meditation retreats. I have met many awakened teachers. Something is wrong with me. I haven’t really got it yet. What I experience here and now is not awakening. I have so many stupid thoughts coming into my head. Eckhart says that awakened people don’t have stupid thoughts in their heads. I really have to do something. I really have to intensify my meditation practice.”

Maybe you think like this: “ I have practiced meditation for years. I have met truly awakened teachers. I have read tons of spiritual literature. I am practically there. I am highly evolved. Most people are sleeping but I am not.”

What I try to say is that we are all awake, (when we are not asleep at night).We don’t have to put any particular teaching into practice. We don’t have to try the best we can. Problems begin when we believe that something is wrong with us, that we lack something and that we have to do something about it.

This is it. What is, is. Of course the totality is enormous compared to what we experience here and now with our senses, but still, this is it, right now.

We are here. We are awake. You are reading this, right now. You are staring at a computer screen. You are awake. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to try harder. You don't need to learn a method how to wake up. You don't have to learn how to laugh or smile. You don't have to realize anything.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


History of religion scholars know of 22 000 different interpretations of the New Testament. 22 000 different Churches and sects have been formed through history. Terrible religious wars have been fought between them.

After his awakening, Buddha began to teach how anyone could find what he had found. After his death his teachings was spread by his disciples. Over the centuries many different schools were formed.

We are all bent differently. This is natural. We all make different interpretations due to different biological and cultural conditionings and life situations. We interpret life differently. Even the greatest gurus or smartest professors can see only but small glimpses of the totality. A life is a glimpse of the totality.

I guess that you know the story of the blind men and the elephant. The blind men were asked, “What is this you have in front of you?” One of them touched its leg and said, “It is a pillar.” Another one touched its tail and said, “It’s a whip.”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Form and formlessness

Mahayana Buddhists and those who are into Advaita Vedanta sometimes speak of absolute and relative truth. Maybe these concepts can be helpful. Right and wrong doesn’t exist from the eternal point of view and nothing of what is going on here in this world of form matters at all. The eternal world is formless; it has no qualities, and it can thus not be described with words. It can only be experienced, however not through the senses. The body, the mind and the sense perceptions are illusory, Maya.

In the world of form, where I live, things are good or bad, right or wrong, partly right or wrong or partly good or bad. For example, it is wrong to abuse children or to exploit poor people to get rich. It can be partly right to be selfish. Here in this dimension, you shouldn’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you. However, we all make mistakes.

I can see, I can hear, I can feel and I can think. I can observe my thoughts and feelings. My thoughts and feelings are thus only a part of me. I can be here and now, in pleasure or pain or I can escape into a fog. I can escape in to fantasy worlds, I can get stoned or I can put all my energy into a career. All this is illusory from an absolute point of view.

I live my life here in this world of form. If I am dead drunk or sober, if I am selfish or unselfish, if I have a right wing or a left wing bent, doesn’t matter at all from an eternal point of view.

I like Eckhart’s way of looking at this. It is not one way or the other. The world of form and the formless world are two aspects of the totality, like two sides of a coin. One side cannot exist without the other. What would the formless world be like without observers? Would it exist at all? What would the formless world be like if no one was there to wonder about it?

Well, what would the world of form be like if no one was there to observe it?

We have to find ways to make a living. We have all been thrown into the water to sink or swim. We have to have some fun, a roll in the hay now and then, at least when we are young; we need sunsets and red wine and we need little children to tell fairy tales to. All this takes place in the endless formlessness.

What are thoughts made of?

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What are thoughts made of?
What is the observer of the thoughts made of?
What are dreams made of?
What is the dreamer made of?
What are the waves in the water made of?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Empty space

What would the world look like if no one were here to look at it; would the mountains still be mountains and the rivers still be rivers? Or would everything be just an endless empty space with a few quarks or strings floating around here and there?

No sounds, no colors, no smells, no cold winds, just a few electrons, quarks or whatever in an endless sea of emptiness?