This blog is meant as an open exploration into spiritual reality and the many pitfalls that appear so real and feel so powerful.
When we look at the spiritual market place today, we see a huge variety of beliefs and religions. This is quite confusing because most of these belief systems claim that there is only one true belief (normally their own). How do we as seekers avoid being taken for a ride in this overwhelming jungle of spiritual diversity?
Unfortunately/fortunately the best way to develop discrimination is to make mistakes (and realise that they were mistakes!)
The first question to ask oneself is: What is my aim? Where am I going with this seeking?
Dependent on your answer you have various options:
You could join the local church if you answer is: I believe that I am a sinner and I want God or his son to sort out my inner turmoil. I believe that Jesus came here to save me, and if I believe in him and follow the Bible, then I will go to Heaven when I die.
You could join the local mosque if you answer is: I believe that I am a sinner and I want like Allah to sort out my inner turmoil. I believe that the prophet Muhammad received direct instructions from Allah which were then written down in the Koran. If I follow these guidelines I will enter Jannah (muslim paradise) when I die.
You could join the local satanists (believe me, there are some) if your answer is: F*** off! God is a nasty piece of s***. I want to rule my own destiny and hopefully others’ as well. I want to learn how to use the power of the universe for my own ends.
You could join a New Age group if your answer is: I want to be loving like the Masters. I will learn to communicate with the inner guides and together we will develop through increasing levels of light. I will learn to work with crystals and colour meditations and Oming.
You could follow a guru if your answer is: I believe in the divine through another more enlightened human. If I can find a fully awakened person, then I can give my personal will away and the guru will help me attain the enlightened state for myself.
You could join the Hara Krishnas if your answer is: Krishna consciousness is the divine state of a human being. By following the instructions in the Baghava Gita, by becoming vegetarian and abstaining from sex I will be able to shed my desire nature and learn to live in bliss and joy.
You could become a Buddhist if your answer is: The Enlightened One showed us that it is possible to gain full enlightenment in a human body. If I learn to visualize the 16 visualizations of the Shakyamuni Buddha then I can reach full enlightenment under my own steam and in this lifetime.
You could become a Hindu or a Wikkan if your answer is: All forces in nature are aspects of the divine. If I pray to these aspects and do certain rituals I will be in good standing with the gods/godesses and they will assist me on the spiritual path.
And so on …
Even if you think that all belief systems are rubbish and you only accept what is proven by science … that is still a belief system, a religion if you will.
This ‘believing in’ also covers our political view point and most of the norms of the society we live in. These views are personal and created by us. They are not absolutes or even at times logical or desirable.
If, on the other hand we look at the process of believing, then we discover that believing in … (no matter what) is our own private interpretation of reality.
If we accept the above statement, then it becomes clear that it is not possible for the person to know the truth about reality … ever!
It is however possible to experience reality and therefore truth… as long as we don’t interpret it.
In order not to interpret what we experience we have to approach our experience of reality with an open heart and an empty mind, so we can fully feel and experience ‘it’, but we abstain from having thoughts about ‘it’. Another way of putting this is that we ‘allow everything to be as it is’.
It does not mean that we have to stop thinking, but rather that we recognise that the ‘thinker’ continuously makes up beliefs, and they are just that … made up.
This is a completely different way to live and to be, but it is not a belief system because it does not involve interpretation of that which is experienced.
This approach to life does not mean that we stop being involved in life. It just means that judgement and justification falls away. It means that anything can happen (it does anyway) and we accept that this is what reality is, right now. This too will change (as it always does) so there is no need to attach meaning to the event.
A rock breaks, a flower dries out, a cat gets squashed, a person dies… has it got meaning? Does it matter how and why? It matters to our opinion/belief (made up), but it doesn’t matter to reality.
To live like this does not mean that we detach from reality and become complete space cadets. It means that we practise non-attachment so we are not desperately trying to make time slow down or speed up in order to fulfil our desire for a particular version of reality. It means that we do not waste time and energy fighting ourselves and our surroundings trying to ‘make it better’.
We have always got the option to act, or not, in any given situation.
Some people would argue that living like this would make us cold and unfeeling. But that could just be our self created sentimentalism not wanting to give up it’s stronghold as the dictator of reality.
If someone I knew died I would probably cry. If my wife kissed me I would probably laugh. These are spontaneous reactions from the emotions. I didn’t make them up, they just appeared.
But if I cried or laughed because I believed that I should, or because it would affect other people in a certain way… that is a different story.
As long as we try to manipulate reality to fit into our personal belief system, then we are living in an illusion.
So we can either keep on deceiving ourselves… or we can get real.